There's a cockatiel in my lilac bush

And no, that’s not a double entendre of some sort. I came home from an after-work Happy Hour and looked out into the backyard. I saw a suspiciously long tail hanging down on the far side of one of the bird feeders: a cockatiel. Just snacking away at the bird food.

I approached very slowly, towel in hand and empty picnic basket at the ready to put it in. I made the mistake of gently saying, “Hi, pretty bird,” and it flew off to the giant maple tree two houses down.

Called the local Humane Society, and the woman I talked to let me know that they’d be happy to take it if I am able to catch it. She also let me know that the last cockatiel reported lost was on April 14, and it had been more yellow than gray (this one is mostly gray).

So, I sat in the yard and talked on the phone and watched the bird move from the maple two houses down to the elm across the alley, then down to the garage across the alley, and finally into the lilac tree in my back yard. The sun set and he tucked his head under his wing and went to sleep.

I again approached slowly, talking gently the whole time, and stood on a chair beneath him. He’s up on a branch that I can reach from the chair, but even pulling down as hard as I can leaves the bird about 6 inches away from my hand; he’s also picked a spot that’s in the midst of a bunch of small twigs. He woke up and hissed at me, puffing up his feathers and trying to bite my hand whenever I got close. Just now I gave up and came back inside. It was 90 degrees out today and the overnight low is still pretty warm, and the little guy looked like he just wants to call it a day. I guess I’ll try again early tomorrow. I don’t know what else to do for now.

I’ve got nothing to help.

I did have to admit to thinking you were doing “spy talk”

“The eagle flies at midnight.”

“The Cockatiel is in the lilac bush.”


Have you got a birdcage handy…or can you borrow one from somewhere?
Put some bird food and water in there, and it may just go into the cage to eat and drink, then you can close the door and you’ve got him!
This is how my great uncle always got his birds back into their cages when they got out.
Works with hamsters, too. Just so you know.
Good luck!

the Humane Society might have a cage to borrow, if you don’t. I don’t know if it works for other birds, but my lovebird will always go back in his cage quickly if there’s cereal involved (cheerios are his favorite).

Either hold in your hand or put in a cage a piece of spray millet, it’s very inexpensive and it’s like chocolate for birds, and I used it frequently when hand training a very skittish and sort of mean cockatiel I rescued a few years ago. Good luck, and if you keep it, they are lovely pets.

Good tips, thanks. I’ll see if I can borrow a cage ASAP (the picnic basket is a backup, if I am able to catch him). There’s some spray millet at the pet store nearby, so I can pick some up in the morning – and I might as well try Cheerios while I am at it.

No chance of us keeping him. He is lovely, but we have two energetic dogs, a cat and fish in a teeny little house. I can’t handle another addition! But we’ll make sure he’s cared for and advertise about a found bird. Hopefully his owner will turn up quickly.

There’s too much pepper in my paprikash.

There’s a hummingbird in my pine trees.

What he was doing in my lilac bush I’ll never know.

You’ve got a goodly portion of the food chain living in peace. Adding a bird seems a good fit.

Dude, all it would take is one old lady swallowing a fly to throw the whole thing into chaos. It’s a risk I just can’t take. :slight_smile:

Birdy was still hanging in the tree this morning, but even higher up. My husband is home all day today and will try to get it if possible; in the meantime there’s food and water available for it. We’ll see what happens.

Would you like a nice piece of peeeeee-can pIeeeeeee?

Somehow, when I read the title, I thought the exact same quote.

As someone with five of these feathered friends, I hope you keep us posted.

I may, however, need to use it as such the next time I need a double entendre. It will be wonderfully mysterious and yet evocative.

We can fix that for you…

Here we go, new title: There’s a cock…in my…bush

No, that was this morning. We were talking about last night. Ha ha.

As I was leaving to take the dogs to the park, I heard the cockatiel calling. My husband and I went outside and there he was on our garage roof. He sidled on down to the eave and hopped onto my husband’s shoulder, then spooked and flew next door. To keep things calmer, I went ahead and took the dogs on their walk.

When I came home, there was my husband, sitting at the computer with a pretty bird on his head. The bird is now sitting on my head as I type this. We’re charging up the batteries for the digital camera right now, so I’ll post some pics when I can.

We’ve posted an ad on Craigslist detailing what he looks like and where he was found. We’ve also let the Humane Society know, in case his owner calls looking for him.

In the meantime, he’s really taken to the Purrniture (cat furniture), which I find hilarious. It’s got a dangly metal string thing on it that he nibbles on. So, we loaded up a little plate with bird seed from the feeder, chopped lettuce, chopped pineapple, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and chopped craisins. He also has a dish of water. All of this is sitting on the cat furniture, while the disgruntled and highly interested cat has been booted out into the living toom. The bird has chowed down on the seeds and gotten a drink, but ignored everything else so far.

He’s a neat little guy. I hope his owner misses him and finds us soon.

Yay! I’m glad he’s safe from harm.

Psst…I think you’ve been adopted.

Ah! That’s great news, Beadalin! I’m glad the bird is safe!

Check out this handsome little guy!

We’ve had a lot of responses to our Craigslist ad, most from people offering to adopt him if his owners don’t turn up. One person looks like they might be the owner, so we’re asking about distinctive markings and have added the photos above to the listing. Wish me luck!

P.S. Sam I Am, the Cheerios are a big hit with him. kaiwik, we’ll be picking up some spray millet and other stuff today. Yay!