Parakeet invades classroom

I have to share the interesting (read: bizarre)event of the week: During our English lesson in school today, a bird comes flying into the room. Not too weird yet, you say? Well then, despite the chaotic and headache-inducing squeals of the class, this frightened feathered friend landed on a desk…where closer inspection revealed that this was not just a misguided finch, starling, or mockingbird. It was a PARAKEET! Your pet-store variety, Australian-native “budgerigar” parakeet, not too different from like the ones I’d had in junior high…and he just flapped his way into the classroom (my classroom has no windows, so the door is always open…his way in).

I caught him by throwing my jacket over him, then pulled the old wire rat cage (in storage in the classroom as I’ve moved from rodents as class pets to something that eats rodents) and housed him in there. Some leftover rat food–stocked with nutricious, parakeet-friendly seeds–were also pulled from storage and put into a feeder for him, where, once he calmed down, he happily chowed down.

Keep him? every student asked, over and over and OVER again. Nuh-uh, I said, this belongs to someone; he still has his leg band from when he was a hatchling. We can make Found posters advertising his discovery and see if we can find his proper home. This already proved to be a bad idea, as immediately after school students from other classrooms were appearing at my door, all claiming to have lost a parakeet that looked just like that one. “What did it look like?” “Like yours.” “What does mine look like?” Pause…um… :::student tries to walk over to the cage to see::: Um, riiiight. I told them the only people I would discuss lost parakeets with were adults–their parents, sure, but no students. Ugh.

One coworker said this little fella just knew were to go. Yes, I’ll take care of him, but “for keeps” is another issue altogether. I had 'keets growing up, and they’re noisy, messy, and oftentimes annoying. I’ll take a snake over a bird ANY day!

Just another day in Miss Ruffian’s class!

Give in to your darkest urges Ruff.

Give 'em the bird!

Sorry, it’s hard to think of what an english class can do with the bird.

You can check to see if his legband is registered on the National Leg Band Registry. They list breeders, who may have a sales history on the little guy. But I don’t know how complete the registry is - my Brat wasn’t on there.

Well, this English class is in fifth grade, so hopefully it won’t be too bad. These are second-language learners; that’s why English is one of our subjects (in addition to the reading, writing, math, etc).

Your school–[shakes head sadly]–

First it’s bees, now it’s birds. What’s next–bats?