The tree line along one Jamestown avenue had an unusual visitor Friday when a family’s exotic bird escaped to greater heights. Bob, a 16-year-old blue gold macaw parrot, spent the better part of Thursday night and part of Friday morning perched and squawking high in a tree along the 700 block of Third Avenue Northeast.
The tree line along one Jamestown avenue had an unusual visitor Friday when a family’s exotic bird escaped to greater heights.
Bob, a 16-year-old blue gold macaw parrot, spent the better part of Thursday night and part of Friday morning perched and squawking high in a tree along the 700 block of Third Avenue Northeast.
“We had her outside last night, we have her outside every night and she’s never flown away,” said Dawn Thompson, whose 10-year-old son, Parker, owns the macaw. “But too many kids and she got spooked and away she went.”
Bob, a female macaw, flew away around 8 p.m. Thursday and spent her time in two different trees along Third Avenue. The Thompsons picked up a trio of the colorful, true parrots from Hawley, Minn., on Craigslist six months ago.
Jamestown’s weather Thursday evening and Friday isn’t preferred macaw weather, as cold temperatures, moderate winds and light rain are far from the ideal tropical environment the large birds prefer.
“It’s kind of dangerous for them in the weather,” said Becky Johnson, animal warden with the Jamestown Police Department, who was on scene during the 11 a.m. rescue. “They don’t handle cold weather very well.”
Dawn and her husband, Terry, brought their two other macaws, Tiko, Bob’s mate, and Louie out in a cage to try and lure Bob. But Bob wasn’t budging from her perch.
Shortly after 8 a.m. Friday, Johnson recommended the Thompsons call a tree service for help in getting Bob, who was perched nearly 40 feet in the air in a tree about a block away from their home.
Jerry Miller, co-owner of Jerry’s Tree Service, was a little bewildered at first.
“I said ‘Whadya say?’” Miller said of when he received the call.
Dawn’s husband, Terry Thompson, and Aaron Miller, the other co-owner of Jerry’s Tree Service, braved a cherry picker in the wind and the rain as the duo inched closer to a visibly shaking bird.
“It was so scared, you could just see it shaking up there, cold and wet,” Terry said.
Terry held out a 3-foot-long stick and called out “Step up,” and Bob obeyed, stepping onto the stick and eventually into Terry’s arms, and they descended back to stable ground.
“She’s trying to come down, but she’s just so scared, she just doesn’t fly,” Dawn said during the rescue. “She’s not a flier, period.”
Larry Igle, an ecologist with the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, said Bob was fine in those temperatures but probably a bit stressed.
In fact, escaped parrots in North Dakota aren’t all that rare, as Igle said he’s heard of it happening before. Even Johnson has dealt with parrots in trees in Jamestown before, just never anything as big as a macaw.
Still, Bob would have been fine as some macaws live in mountainous subtropic regions, Igle said.
“It was probably somewhat stressed with the rain and colder temperatures but it could have easily survived the night,” he said.