CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Mystery bird hopped on my husband’s head and moved into the spare room

Are you missing this colourful feathered friend?

15 July, 2021 — By Isabelle Stanley

Kieran Smythe has a new friend

A COUPLE have a new lodger in their spare room – after finding an unusual orange bird in their garden in Kentish Town on Sunday.

The exotic flyer took a shine to Kieran Smythe’s head after he and wife Janet saved the bird from a pack of magpies.

After chasing off its attackers, she said: “I put out my finger and the bird hopped right on.”

It was so friendly, the couple immediately suspected it was a lost pet and have been appealing with messages across social media sites for any owner to come forward.

The bird is being kept away from their pet dog in the spare room.

While they wait for it to be claimed, they are considering names. “Stevie” is the front runner, said Ms Smythe, “as in [Fleetwood Mac’s] Stevie Nicks, because it’s got a great voice”.

It was not the only colourful bird to make an unexpected appearance in the borough this week.

On Saturday, Mindy Overton and her husband walked into their house in South Hampstead to find a green blur flying at their heads. They then looked up and saw a parrot-like bird sitting on one of their cupboards.

Ms Overton said: “At first we thought it was one of the wild parakeets that live in London so we were trying to shoo it out. We finally got it onto our balcony, but it wouldn’t leave.”

When they realised the bird was someone’s pet, they let it into their living room and locked their cats away. Ms Overton said: “We weren’t sure what to do, so it just sat on the sofa with us while we watched Netflix”.

Later, they found a neighbour with more bird knowledge, who identified it as a conure.

The bird was eventually reunited through online appeals with its family in Maida Vale, who said they had left a window open by mistake and the bird had escaped.

This parrot was found a mile away from home

Ms Overton said: “It must have flown over a mile to our flat.”

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said it was “often extremely difficult to reunite these birds with their owners as many are not microchipped or ringed”.

She added that “accidental escapes” were more common in summer when owners take their birds outside on a perch or hand, or let their birds fly around the house but forget to close windows.

Ms Button said on other occasions owners felt they could no longer look after their birds, but warned: “Abandoning pets is never the right option.”

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