Yesterday just as I was typing the last line of my blog, Jerry called me and said to get Andy and come over to the neighbor's house quickly - that we would not believe what he had. He had been at Hilda's house replacing the string in her weed trimmer and they were sitting out in her back yard by her shed. I must confess that I thought he must have found some sort of reptile or other creature that boys tend to appreciate more than girls, but I dutifully grabbed Andy and went over. Boy was I wrong! Jerry was standing there holding a parrot! Hilda had been sitting in a chair under a large tree in her back yard when she saw something swoop down and then felt something on her back. Not being able to see what it was, she was understandably alarmed and told Jerry to "Get it off me!" Turns out, it was a parrot that had flown down out of the tree and onto her back. What are the odds of that happening?! Jerry held out his finger and the bird very gently climbed onto it. We got some bird seed and water and it ate and drank very heartily! He wasn't inclined to fly away, either. When Jerry put it down for a moment, it walked and followed him until Jerry picked him up again and then he climbed up on his shoulder and just sat there. We put it in our cat carrier (how's that for irony?!) and brought him home. We looked him up and found out that he (she?) is a Quaker parakeet, or Monk parrot. We also found out that they are wild in some places, the nearest to us being Delaware. There were pictures on the web of actual flocks of them in places like Florida and Tennessee. I don't think this one is wild, although it could be. It's leg is banded, although the band doesn't give any information that would let us track it. We found that some state agencies track birds by banding and that it may not necessarily have belonged to anyone. Just to be sure we didn't have someone's pet, Andy made a big sign and we posted it on the community bulletin board which is on the side of the road as you enter our community. No one has called yet. Jerry has certainly gotten attached to it already. The bird nips at everyone but Jerry, but as long as I don't act afraid (and can stand the pain for a bit), the bird will eventually let me pet him.
Now if that weren't strange enough, Tom called this afternoon from work and said, "Mom, you are NOT going to believe this!" There is a bench outside of the store where he works and he said he looked outside today and saw sitting on the bench - you guessed it - a Quaker parakeet. He said that a girl that works at the store went up to it gently and tried to get it on her finger. It didn't fly away, but wouldn't get on her finger, either. Tom said it just backed away from her a little on the bench. Then Tom said apparently the people working in the hair place next door saw the bird. They came rushing out, making lots of noise and chased the poor thing trying to catch it. Of course, then it flew away and Tom said they didn't see where it went. Tom said this one had a band on it's leg, too. Something very strange is going on here. If the hurricane had been closer to us I tend to think that maybe somehow that had something to do with it. Or a truckload of birds escaped somewhere close by!