It happens frequently in the warmer, summer months – a door or window is left open, and within seconds, a pet budgie, or cockatiel or love bird flies through into the great wide open, perhaps never to be seen again.
Posts about missing pet birds in social media neighbourhood and community groups also become more frequent when the weather gets warmer.
But it was a Facebook post that helped Pineapple find her way back to her worried guardian Priscilla Reeves Timmons, who was devastated when her green and yellow budgie managed to get away from their South Surrey home on July 7, just before her 11th birthday.
“I cried. I was so happy to get her back!” Reeves Timmons said Monday (July 31).
A family member who was trying to be helpful was cleaning Pineapple’s cage while the bird and cage were outside to take advantage of the nice weather, which is when the brightly coloured budgie escaped.
Mom Debby Reeves put out a plea in a Facebook community group, but wasn’t really convinced it would help bring the bird home, having seen many of the “missing pet bird” social media posts herself.
At West Coast Gardens on 172 Street two days later – four kilometres away from Pineapple’s neighbourhood at 157 Street and 18 Avenue – staff noticed a yellow and green budgie flying around inside the store.
An employee remembered seeing a Facebook post about a missing budgie, and while they tried to contact the owner via social media, another employee – Heather Wyborn – patiently coaxed the bird with some fruit into an old bird cage in the store.
“They used a banana and she hates banana,” Reeves Timmons said.
“She must have been really hungry.”
Reeves Timmons noted that she and her family rescued Pineapple when she first appeared by their backyard barbecue last fall.
They looked for her owners then, but when no one claimed her, she became Reeves Timmon’s pet.
“She only likes Priscilla,” Debby Reeves noted.
“We got her back safely on July 9. The ladies at the garden centre were amazing,” she said, adding she couldn’t thank them enough.
A thank-you note that Reeves Timmons wrote with a drawing of Pineapple now holds a place of prominence on the garden store’s bulletin board.
The best part was that the reunion was just in time for Reeves Timmons’ 11th birthday party.
“I have a video of her when she found out (Pineapple had been found)… she was so surprised, she spit her water out!” Reeves said.
“It was shocking. I think (Pineapple is) happy to have food and water again.”
Reeves Timmons was just happy to have Pineapple back, safe and sound.
“I am just so happy she’s OK,” she said.