neighborhood until well after dark, their spirits slowly sinking...until the phone rang. Turbo had plummeted in for a landing in a nearby yard, where neighbors recognized the macaw from her picture on a flier. The Johnsons dashed to the scene. Wrapping a towel around Turbo, Autumn plucked her from a
bottlebrush tree, holding on tight as she lifted the macaw to safety. “Her feathers were a mess, she had pine sap on her feet, she was hungry and thirsty,” said Autumn. “But she was home!” Reunited with the Johnsons, Turbo seemed overjoyed to be home again. The family rushed her to their avian vet who reassured them Turbo was unharmed, while freshly clipping her wings. Turbo now wears a new neon pink bird harness when she goes outdoors. “Watching her fly was so beautiful,” said Autumn. “But I don’t ever want to see it again.” Jarrett Johnson is reunited with Turbo.
The Johnson family did all the right things while trying to locate Turbo, but her escape could have been prevented. To keep your bird safe: 6 Pet Lovers Magazine
• Keep flight feathers trimmed. Just because his or her wings are clipped, it doesn’t mean your bird can’t fly--your bird just can’t fly upward. • Always use a carrier, harness, or flight suit when taking your bird outside, securely attaching your pet’s harness to your belt or wrist. • Take photos and make an audio recording of your bird. Ask your avian vet to microchip your bird. If your bird flies away... • Start your search immediately. Try searching at dusk and at dawn, times when birds fly and forage. • Scatter seed on your roof or the hood
of your car--places your hungry bird can easily see it. A stainless steel container of water will sparkle in the sun and catch your thirsty bird’s eye. • Alert the neighbors, particularly those who keep feeders filled. • Only climb a tree to retrieve your bird if your bird is very tame. Most birds fly away as you approach. • Talk to your pet. Put his or her cage in the yard, food dish filled with a favorite food. Bring your bird’s favorite avian companion into the yard on a harness. Play the recording of your bird, invoking memories of happy playtimes. • Hang signs everywhere possible within a fifty mile radius and put up posters at area animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and pet shops.
• Call on a bird club in your area or an expert who specializes in finding lost pets. • Register your lost pet at a website like www.911parrotalert.com or www.birdhotline.com. The most important thing to remember is: never give up on finding your lost bird. Tame birds have been returned safely to their owners after weeks, months, and even years of being lost. Birds don’t have a homing instinct, like dogs do, to help them find you again. It is up to you to find them. So keep searching and, with luck and persistence, your story, like the Johnsons’ and Turbo’s, will have a happy ending. We-R-PetLovers.com 7
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