Blakey is lost

Blakey when he was adopted in August of 2012

Last night in this crazy summer heat, I recommended my daughter Gen take her Indian Ringneck on the back balcony so to take advantage of the cooler air setting in. From our back patio we can see the ocean and a lush thick forest bordering the side of the mountain where this little town is set. The back yard and the surrounding neighborhood looks like a little valley on a distance of a few kilometers in width.

It took two minutes, I asked Blakey for a kiss and Gen took him closer to me. He pulled over, kissed me on the lips. Then as she held him he was startled. I don’t know if I did something wrong. He spread his wings and flew over the balcony – I thought for sure he was going to fly down way below and my stomach started to twist. But then like a small airplane, he flew upward and circled above along with the other birds. We tried calling him – frantically. We were hoping he would simply fly around and settle back, but no he ended up on a distant birch tree. Two hours later he started answering to Gen’s calls. As my eldest daughter and I stood at the bottom of the tree, he flew off and that was it. We haven’t heard of him since.

It was a long and difficult night for Gen and I.We barely slept and by 4 AM we could hear the little baby birds calling out for food from their nests. We got up early hoping Blakey would start his usual little morning conversation since he was out in the open. So far, no news but Gen is sitting in the back calling him gently and offering him food. He’s always starving in the mornings.

There is something to be said for the strength of a sick child. She is so much stronger than anyone else. She is so much more than I will ever be and I say this in a good way because she amazes me and touches the bottom of my heart with her beauty. I often wondered how she could put up with her illness. It’s been nearly eight years and she’s hanging in there regardless of the fact that she has little or no life whatsoever . Now I know that the strength of these children is way greater than what we’ll ever be able to imagine. Getting the bird for her was my way of giving her a life that was worth taking care of. She’s done an amazing job with Blakey. He’s very tame although he wasn’t hand fed as a baby. He speaks many words and sentences. They range from “hello, thank you, good boy, peek a boo, wake up, do you want a cookie, come on, come here” to a whole other bunch he mimics from hearing me rant all day long. She cried a lot last night but quickly pulled herself back together, reasoning everything including me.  Is it the illness keeping her so strong? How does she deal with such awful pain all the time?

I can hear her still calling and offering the many gentle words she uses with him. I’m hoping he’s around somewhere so he can hear her, that he will cry out and that we will be blessed by his return.

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37 thoughts on “Blakey is lost

  1. I “liked” this, but I don’t like it. I’m so sorry, and hope Blakey comes home today. I have an online friend who lost her bird under similar circumstances last month, and someone found him two weeks later–he’s now back home with his family. <3

    • Thank you. I’m scared because I don’t know how he’s going to feed himself or anything. He was completely dependent of Gen and had recently started flying to her in the house as he was ALWAYS out of the cage – we didn’t know he was able to fly out like that. I’ve read that they live for three days in the wild. I wish someone would find him or that he’d find the strength to find his way home. This is gut wrenching. Such a smart little creature and loving too.

    • We’ve actually seen him on a huge tree in the middle of the woods and he’s attempted to fly to his cage but seems unable to (which I had put on top of the Jeep). We’ve lost him again. Perhaps it’s good that he’s in the neighborhood. Only worry right now is the heat. And of course, he’s a parrot so he doesn’t feed on the usual bird stuff in the wild. :( I’m keeping my fingers crossed. This is so very hard. Thank you for your kind thoughts

      • Since you know he is in the neighborhood is there a way to leave food out for him so he can get to it until he can figure out how to get home? Oh I know nothing about parrots. And I am sure you have done this. Was just wondering.

      • His cage is out and so is his food but apparently you can only lure them when they get super hungry. I’ve heard of the 2nd or 3rd day and that’s if they make it. This one is flying around so I guess he’s still fine. When Gen calls him he replies which is good but now he hasn’t been so maybe he’s taking a break. What a job!!! I hope he makes it. Really. It’s so sad. Because they talk so much we get really attached…

      • We leave his cage outside during the day. At night he can’t fly because he can’t see so we bring it inside and Gen is very particular about keeping it intact and clean. Don’t know how much sense this makes… you know what? I’m going to take it out again. What if he comes back early in the morning?

  2. I’m so sorry about Blakey, Sheep. I’m glad you can still spot him and I think he would be OK in the heat due to the fact that parrots are from the tropics. I don’t know a thing about birds, but Moush Moush got lost in my mother’s country club twice as the homes are similar and she doesn’t have a sense of smell due to a virus she caught and I found her both times (hope that helps!). Same story with our dog growing up.

    If he wasn’t hand fed as a baby as you mentioned, then is he capable of feeding himself or is he too domesticated? Let’s hope he just wants to be a bird for a bit and if he sees Gen and his food, it only makes sense that he’ll come and eat and she can grab him. The worst would be if he were just gone. I know it’s really hard when a pet is missing, trust me.

    I think Gen can handle this so well because she is used to facing many adversity in life. I can easily relate and I think she’s doing the right thing, but can you call a vet who specializes in birds for any additional advice? That might be very helpful. I’m hoping for the best and that Blakey is discovering the outdoor bird life and oblivious to the fact that you guys are so worried (and rightfully so)…
    Hugs to you both!
    A <3

    • Thank you A for your kind words of solutions and encouragement. We saw him perched on the top of a huge tree which may have been as much as 80 feet high. He was very excited to hear Gen and was replying with every one of her calls. We stayed for at least two hours and in the end we put the cage on top of my jeep and I started ringing one of his favorite little toys. He flew but unfortunately couldn’t get to us. His wings are clipped and maybe he’s just using the wind. Not sure. Anyway, we haven’t heard of him since then. I’m hoping that he’s feeding on little fruits in the trees and that he’s drinking water from the leaves in the morning. Just don’t want him to suffer. Gen is sort of strong one minute and then completely devastated the next. Every time I think of him I can’t help but cry. It tears me apart. I keep hoping that he’ll survive long enough (without suffering of course) and that he’ll stick to our neighborhood which is more like a forest. It’s so scary and I don’t know how long it will be before we get over him. Not knowing where he is since 1 PM has been so difficult I can’t even put it into words. I know we can get another one but for now we just want Blakey to come back home safely. Poor little soul. We are missing him tremendously. Gen gets a lot of information from people who have indian ringnecks. About the local vets, I’m not sure. I’m afraid they’ll tell me it won’t make it for more than a few days. I’m not ready to hear that. He sounded healthy today. I’m trying to make sense out of all of this but I’m struggling. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day. I need to get a grip. xox

      • Poor Sheep,
        I was wondering if his wings were clipped, but then I thought they couldn’t fly at all? It makes no sense if he was talking to Gen. Animals do have survival skills and I know he’s drinking off the leaves–they have the intuition to do things like that and hopefully find fruit (and I thought they ate worms). Are you saying he can fly in the air but not make a landing in essence? 80′ up is pretty high, but I was think of putting the bird cage on a tall ladder (strap in down) if you have one or the roof if you can get up there carefully. I would think if he can land on a tree he can land on a roof. I know he must be in your neighborhood still. Do you know the neighbors to have them keep an eye out? I so wish he were a pigeon as I actually know someone I can contact who had pigeons growing up–shoot.

        I’ll see if I can find anything online, but in the meantime just try to stay calm (I know it’s hard) because you and Gen both need to be strong at this time. I know Gen chats with people, but this 3 day rule seems strange to me, but I don’t know birds again.

        So sorry… Who needs this on top of everything else? Just don’t blame yourself–it’s not your fault that he flew off and I do understand that getting another bird (we’re not going to think about that) would never replace Blakey. I’m so there with you right now.
        A xo

      • Poor Gen (and you). :( I really would try the roof idea–sure you’ve done this by now as it’s already evening there. Keep me posted if you can. I’ll check e-mails tonight when I get back.
        Hugs to you both…

      • He’s gone A. Don’t think he’ll be back. He hasn’t spoken to us in over 24 hours. It’s terrible. I’m a complete mess. It’s killing me. I’m afraid he’ll starve to death. Gen is being strong…. my poor sweet girl.

      • I’m so sorry, Sheep. Sigh. I know this must be just awful. Did you put any signs up/notify vets (shelters?) in case anyone finds him–not sure if he has a little tag? It may be worth it, just in case. I know there’s a time that you need to just stop, but I’m the type to do everything before that point. Just don’t blame yourself (I’d never know the wind can pick them up like that) and I know Gen can handle this. Oh, I so wish we were closer for so many reasons. I’m telling you that Bird Man would have climbed a 80′ tree to get Blakey–he’s known to do very weird things. My heart is with you guys as I was such a wreck when MM was lost twice at my mother’s.
        Have to get ready, but will be in touch… xo

      • Hi A. Sorry I’m being so all over the place. Not sure what’s wrong with me. I think I may be tired from dealing with years of crap regarding Gen being sick and her not receiving the treatments she needed – now it seems like I’m having a hard time coping with every other thing that happens. I feel sorry for Gen, for me being so all over the place with this.

        Regarding the wind, it’s just very bad here because of where we’re set. It’s like that most of the time. Gen cut Blakey’s flight feathers but not that much. The thing is that Blakey was walking from her bedroom to wherever she was in the house. During the day, his cage is always open unless he’s misbehaving – then we tell him to go for a nap and close his door for a little while. Gen thought it wasn’t fare that he had to walk like that and that he should at least learn how to fly. So she let the feathers grow and blakey learned how to fly in the house. He goes from her room to wherever she is in the house and lands on her shoulder. Still, last week she cut his feathers just a bit so that he wouldn’t have too much control. So, he can fly but with the wind and because he’s never been out in the open (I imagine) he’s out of control. So yesterday as well as the night before, he attempted to come to us but he was way too high and you could tell he had little control over where he wanted to go and the wind surely influenced his speak and so on. So maybe in the end, it’s not as bad as we imagine. But he needs to learn how to fly properly and maybe he can land as I know he lands on her shoulder in the house. But then this is a small house and he’s not going far nor fast.
        Tonight i took a small walk with cole to the end of the street. Guess who I spot crossing the edge of a small cliff back to our neighborhood? Blakie! I’m thinking that he heard me calling him and he came back to this area. Maybe he was over on the other side since yesterday. It’s funny because I thought he may have gone there. Plus the wind was so crazy he probably sat in one tree for most of the time. I know they do they when they fly away. But tonight, he was flying a little all over the place, but it didn’t look like he was stressed or anything. He was against the wind so maybe it was harder for him. He looked like he knew what he was doing which made me feel a little better. He wasn’t that high up either and I think he may stick around that area because it’s away from the crazy scary valley. I drew a picture of his wings and Gen says it has to be him unless someone else lost a parrot. I’m really really hoping that tomorrow we’ll be able to find him and maybe lure him by putting the cage in a nearby tree. I don’t think he’ll come down to our street or house because we’re way down compared to where he is now and that would make him afraid. Just seeing him made me feel so much better. I’m just hoping he doesn’t freeze overnight as we’re getting the East wind tonight which is very chilly. I’m hoping he’s smart enough to find a little spot between the branches where he can keep warm. I am so hoping to see him tomorrow.

        Thank you so much for your words.:) Knowing there is someone out there who cares as you do really helps a lot. xo

      • OMG! I knew he was around still… I just knew it based on what Bird Man said. Yes! The best is if he doesn’t seem tired, he’s found food. Do try the cage, but he’ll have to see you do it, of course. It has to be him–2 parrots in your neck of the woods? I’m glad to know his wings are just slightly clipped, so maybe it’s the coastal wind that just freaked him out as he really has no experience flying outdoors (but really can!). Maybe he can land now if you saw him walking (can’t find the comment now–on a cliff?). I don’t know that he actually knows where your house is (I think this is a homing pigeon thing). If there are homes near where you found him (with people you can trust) can you leave a notice on their doors with his photo and your cell or something so you know when he’s in the area and can get there asap? Oh, I tried to get a visual from your other site but couldn’t find it. Regardless, I’m feeling so much better, too! Phew. If nothing else, maybe he’ll be your outside friend for awhile.

        About Gen and falling apart (you didn’t have the panic attack in the W/C like me!), can you have a heart to heart with Gen so she knows why you’re falling apart? She’s smart and almost grown and I think she would understand that all the burden is on your shoulders (well, you can find better words). It might give you some relief to just get it off your chest, too. In turn, she may feel better knowing what’s going on with you. Just a thought. I really have no mother (the one trotting around Europe spending gobs of money) and then no kids myself, but I think I’d rather be in the know than not. Just an idea and I would be a mess, as well. Don’t beat yourself up! It’s totally overwhelming when anything else lands on our plates.
        A x

      • I have some possible good news if Blakey comes back. I spoke to Bird Man (also the person I get rides from, but not exactly a friend per se). He had more than 50 pigeons growing up in a faraway land AND a gray parrot (didn’t know that). He also knows how to fly a single engine plane! So, I made the call and this was right up his alley.

        This is all in hopes that Blakey comes back or you find him. I’m sure you know much of this, but he said Blakey is afraid to land b/c he isn’t capable of slowing down due to his wings (birds pull their wings back to reverse the thrust, and the clipped wings don’t give the full effect–like the flaps on the wings of planes). This is why he tried and didn’t come down when he was answering Gen. Bird Man would pull those feathers (yikes–he is from abroad), so he gets all this. He said the food on the roof idea may work IF the distance from the tree to the roof isn’t that much. If Blakey gets airborne, the wind is carrying him more or less–this is how he is flying (gliding). His best suggestion (well, he said he would have scaled that tree–oh, right!) was that if you see Blakey in a tree, put the cage w/food in the branches. I asked how that could be done w/o it toppling and he said it should have a handle and to find a stick (broom handle/Swiffer?) to put through it and then balance the cage between 2 branches. He said that since Blakey can flap his wings, he can jump down between the branches w/o any problem and WILL go to his cage as that’s his home and he knows there’s food there. Then he should stay in there and you can get him down.

        He also thinks he’s not that far away as he can only glide as far as the wind can take him and will be in another tree most likely. He said a landing could be worrisome due to the speed and he’ll keep flapping his wings to avoid it (like the plane w/o hydraulics–other thing he talks about non-stop), so the cage in the tree would be best unless he’s in a tree by the roof and then throw the food up there or just do it anyway. He said they will be very quiet at night as they’re scared of predators and can’t see, but I mentioned you hadn’t seen him since 1 pm. So, let’s hope he comes back or you spot him in the neighborhood and have a ladder and a way to get the cage into the tree. He also mentioned that they (grays anyway) will eat leaves and spit them out if they feel they are bad, so they won’t avoid all unknown food.

        Unfortunately, Bird Man lives here otherwise he’d come and get your bird (he said that–totally crazy for exotic birds and airplanes). Il aussi parle français parce qu’il est marocain! :-) I have a long appt. w/the optom. tomorrow for the scleral lenses that he’s taking me to but can contact him after I check e-mails if you find Blakey and need any more advice if the situation changes. He’s good for a few things besides rides, after all! Sorry about my schedule and time zone! Praying Blakey will come back to a tree in your area…
        Longest comment to date–just hope it works out! xo

      • Thank you so much A. This place is like a mountain side and it’s like the neighboring houses are in a little valley area – quite deep. Then it goes up again and our house is on the going up part again. Yesterday Blakey flew higher than the height of our house and got across our street. He was at about the height of a small bungalow (below roof top) which I think is great. I’m assuming he tried to land. That’s when we last saw him. It’s very bushy behind that house. I’m scared he may have hurt himself and that’s why we have no news from him since. Gen is completely exhausted as we had spent the greater part of the previous night up. I think we may have slept two hours. I’m going to go out there and look for him in the bush. I have a bad feeling. He was staying in the area and everything is so gigantic where he was sitting in that tree. I have a pic of the area on my medsciwriting.com blog. It’s the green luscious area with the school (convent) across the greens. Anyway – you are a true caring friend A. Thank you. Last night I had a very hard evening. I cried so much. I feel so bad. Will get back to you a little later. xox Oh, and thank the man for his amazing help. If we can find Blakey this way there is hope since he would most likely be on this side where the trees are so much smaller. The other side is like the Amazon!

      • Oh, crap. It must have been an awful night. That’s how I was for a week after the news about MM. :( I have 5 mins before I have to get ready for my appt., but was so hoping you’d have found him. Hang in there. Bird Man doesn’t think he’ll get hurt unless he tries to land and comes in too fast (like a plane). As he was too scared last time, I don’t think he’ll attempt it. Glad you have some lower bushes by the house at least…
        xo

    • Sorry A. Forgot to ask you about the little girl? I’m sure she’s still under all these meds and probably not doing much. Is she OK?

      And you know, I think like you and am hoping Blakey is enjoying being out there. I’m sure it’s something totally different for him and there are so many birds out there…

      • Aw, you mentioned it on my blog! Thank you–she’s in sleepy narcotic land and this was a breeze compared to the amputation. Omg. I grabbed another pillow for her so she has her whole setup on the floor but keeps looking at the bed. What guilt! Thanks for thinking of us…

      • OK, I found the 3-day rule but it was more that they are very hungry then and will look for any humans (if domesticated) for food. I also know how he flew w/clipped wings. This is not the best part as you probably know that it’s the wind that allowed him to fly and his navigational skills are off, which is why landing is a problem, but one site said to throw food on lots of rooftops. It’s like they can land, but not on target (so how did he land on a branch?). If there isn’t any wind up there, he won’t get very far. Praying there isn’t, but I know you’re by the ocean.

        However, there is hope and one site led to another that may be of some help (there are forums). http://www.911parrotalert.com/
        I also read to tell the kids in the neighborhood to keep an eye out and offer a little reward (this is like hide and seek for kids) and if he’s in a tree, to spray him (if you can) with water so he’ll drop, but will let you decide if that is doable. Yikes. It’s not a lost cause, so hang onto hope. Keep thinking w/that brain of yours (and Gen’s) and keep Googling (and ignore anything awful you read, like I do with MM). You really need an experienced airline pilot who knows how to land a plane w/o hydraulics here. I’m going to stay positive and hope you can get to at least your roof and that he’s nearby still. Oh, they also mentioned a trap if anyone has one, so that way the wind won’t grab him on the roof!

        So awful… :(

  3. Pingback: Peaceful sky of red | Sheep in a basket

    • Hi Katie, So nice to hear from you! Yes, losing Blakey was very difficult and it still is. We miss him very much and most of all his little voice in the morning. We’ve since adopted a little girl that Gen called Bean – the owners had just had a baby and a bird was a little much for them. Still, we’re waiting a bit and when the time is right we’ll get another Indian Ringneck for Gen. Thank you for stopping by. :)

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