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Birds of feather flock to Allenton


Bird loving family loses parakeets, finds parakeet


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In an effort to locate the parakeets pictured on the left and right of the photo the Miller family of Allenton gained someone else’s lost bird.

September 03, 2008
ALLENTON — Birds of a feather flock together they say, and for one family the old adage is true—sort of.

Brenda Miller last week placed a couple of ads in the paper that seem to illustrate the point.

Run concurrently the ads read "Lost: 2 parakeets—Allenton, July 23. White with blue front; tourquoise with yellow head, black stripes. 810-395-8786."

"Found: Parakeet-Bowman Road, Imlay City approximately August 10. 810-395-8786."

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Yes, it's a rather unusual scenario, Brenda admits.

Sometimes referred to as "the crazy bird lady," Brenda explains that it all started on July 23, when her husband David was out on the front porch of their Tubspring Road home. Of course, the birds were kept inside in a cage, and set free to fly around the house every now and then. Usually they're very careful about making sure every member of the household knows the birds are out of their cage, but on this particular July day things just happened.

"Before my son could walk away from the cage my husband opened the door about a foot and a half wide and they were just flying at the right angle and they just kept going and were gone," Brenda says.

Though the family initiated an immediate search—with neighbors pitching in to help find the colorful winged creatures—they had no luck.

Brenda made up some flyers with photos of the missing birds, explaining that they flew out the front door together and they were desperately missed. She posted the flyers all around the Capac, Imlay City and Lapeer area hoping that somehow, someone had captured the beloved pets.

A few weeks later she gets a phone call from Dennis Collison—the recently retired Capac village manager, a man she's never met.

"He said 'I think we have one of your birds, when can you come over and check it out?'" Brenda says.

Dennis explains that he was out doing yard work at his Bowman Road home when he and his wife Pat spotted what they thought was a bluebird.

"It was on the ground and they were able to get it into their hands," Brenda says. "They put it in a small cage they happened to have."

Dennis tells Brenda he initially called a man in Capac that he knew kept birds, but the man said he didn't want it. The man did say, however, that he recalled seeing a flyer about missing birds and Dennis tracked down the information.

Brenda and her son, Kyle, went over to the Collisons filled with hope, but realized right away it wasn't their bird.

"We walked right in and said 'that's not our bird, this one's blue and white and ours is tourquoise and yellow,'" she says.

She could understand the Collisons' mistake, however. In the flyer that was posted, the colors of the missing birds were a little washed out. The disappointment was soon replaced with tenderness.

"Pat asked if we wanted the bird anyway and we didn't hesitate," Brenda grins. "We said yes."

Brenda could tell the Collisons' grandkids didn't want grandma and grandpa to give up the bird, but she knew that they weren't up for taking care of a new pet.

'Luigi,' as the found bird has come to be known, was a little beat up from his experience in the wild.

"He'd been through the wringer," Brenda says. "He had dirt on him and after I bathed him I realized he had a foot injury."

After calling a few veterinarians' offices, Brenda was advised to get an aloe plant and put some aloe on the injury. It worked.

"It's healed up, he's standing on the foot again," she says.

Brenda and her sons Kyle, 16 and Dan, 14, know that by placing an ad in the paper they may have to give up Luigi, but since they lost their own beloved birds, they feel duty bound to try to find his owner.

"He's turned out to be a great bird and we love him," Brenda says.

As for finding their own lost birds, the Millers aren't as hopeful.

"It's been over a month now," she says. "But we're still trying. You never know."

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