Ron and Birgit Daniels keep a keen eye on their little parrot after the tale they call Piko’s Odyssey.
They’d even taken steps in June to limit Piko’s flying; a bird specialist partially clipped four feathers or so from each side and his talons limiting his flight distance. It lasted for only a few months. “In addition, he seemed to enjoy flying from his guest room to the kitchen for a meal then return to his home cage for a snooze. So his flying skills quite quickly returned, even with reduced feathers,” Ron says. “On the outer hand, they say the exercise from flying keeps young Quaker parrots slim and healthy – it’s a tough call.”
So on a late summer day, the couple sat at their picnic table on the back patio, enjoying lunch. Being a hot day, the home’s back door was open.
“Piko could see us from his perch in the kitchen, so he decided to fly out and join us for lunch by landing on the table to share some yummies,” Ron says. “After an enjoyable few hours, the three of us retired back into the house.”
Previously, Piko was always reluctant to go out doors on his own, but the next day as Ron adjusted the sprinklers and Birgit hung laundry to dry, Piko suddenly streaked out of the kitchen at lightning speed.
It was such an uncharacteristic move, the couple searched high and low before believing Piko had fled.
“When we called out ‘Piko where are you?’ we heard a brief string of Piko’s favourite words – good morning, peek-a-boo, gootchie gootchie and bye-bye in the far distance across the street – in the general direction of the back yard of our neighbours,” Ron says. “We ran across the street and met up with Bonnie McDonald at her side gate. She said her two Scotty dogs were barking at an unusual bird that landed way up in an evergreen tree. She then said that the bird seemed to be talking back to her barking dogs. We then proceeded into her back yard to retrieve Piko. Bonnie quickly slipped her dogs into the house to help facilitate the rescue.”
The large yard full of tall trees yielded no sign of Piko. They called again and heard faint “gootchie-gootchie” and “peek-a-boo” in the general direction of an enormous evergreen 80 to 100 feet up.
After calling Piko for about an hour, he finally showed himself by slipping out of the dense evergreen foliage and perching on a bare branch high in the tree.
“He was so high up the tree that there was no way a ladder or fire department could rescue him. So all we could do was to attempt to encourage him by using a reassuring voice, urging him to come down,” Ron says. Those efforts finally paid off when Piko launched himself from that high branch and glided down to a much smaller tree on the other side of the property. He completed his “odyssey” landing safely on Birgit’s shoulder.
Indeed an adventure for Piko and in hindsight a comical story for us – but at the time it was scary. We are now trying to ensure that Piko doesn’t get too frisky nearby open doors /or windows. When Piko is in a frisky mood he can get easily spooked. We still find it hard to believe it played out the way it did – and we were able to safely retrieve the “little begger” before he got completely lost or gobbled up by a passing Hawk or Eagle : )
Birgit phoned Piko’s breede in Strathmore, Alberta and shared the story. Even the breeder was amazed the little Quaker Parrot returned “from the wild.”
“She indicated that from her experience, once her customer’s birds fly off they are virtually always gone for keeps,” Ron says.