Bird buffs flock to escaped budgies’ rescue
Budgies are a popular pet thanks to their temperament and bright plumage
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A few frigid and feathered fugitives found refuge after a group of Good Samaritans spent the day scrambling around a north-side neighbourhood trying to save some birds that somehow flew the coop. Bernadette Neumann was walking her dog at Klarvatten Park on Monday morning when she heard an unusual “cheep” overhead.
“I looked up in this tree and there was no leaves, just yellow, green, blue guys sitting there,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow, those aren’t native birds to Alberta, that’s for sure.’”
Native to Australia, budgies are popular pets thanks to their temperament and bright plumage. How the Bernadette Neumann was walking her dog at Klarvatten Park on Monday morning when she spotted a group of budgies clumped together in a tree.
birds got outside is anyone’s guess at this point, but what’s certain is that they were illequipped for a chilly Edmonton escapade.
An animal health technician
by trade, and bird owner herself, Neumann knew as much and made a beeline home, across the street from the park, for a butterfly net and cage. Spotting about six
or seven, she hoped to scoop as many as she could to warmth and safety.
“They were cold and clumped together, some of them could hardly hang on to the branches,” Neumann added. “They were slipping and falling off.”
She managed to catch one, but the rest remained out of reach, so she decided it was time to call for reinforcements. Meika’s Safehouse, a Sherwood Park rehabilitation and re-homing centre for area birds, just east of Edmonton, got her call that morning and put an alert out over Facebook shortly after.
“Our native birds have adapted to eat really fatty, oily seeds to help maintain their temperature,” said Ian Sprague, director of the centre. “For these budgies ... their physiology isn’t geared for this at all. Even if they eat these fatty, oily seeds, they’re not going to metabolize it correctly to keep them warm.”
Within an hour of the online appeal, a volunteer appeared in the park to help Neumann in the rescue mission — and five others shortly after that. By sunset, the group managed to collect nine birds.