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Lucky


Dusk already at 3.45pm. when Tinga flew


towards the floodlit flight and entered. Once inside she was easily recaptured and both sun conures released back into the main aviary.


Kakariki escape artists I’m not the only bird keeper who finds kakariki are all miniature Houdinis. But I do boast that I have re caught them each time, including one hen who evaded capture for 8 days. Five years ago, Beatrice and Benedict had


their second clutch in October. By the 16th, I saw two live chicks in the next box. Benedict was feeding her constantly. Two days later, Benedict was outside on the roof. I couldn’t find either hole or gap anywhere, a gale was blowing and I feared he’d be blown away. And how would the hen get fed? Next day I found him on the ground behind the cold weather panels. Still no


42 BIRD SCENE


holes visible. Wal and I put a booby- trapped cage on the roof and at 4 pm he was inside it. We closed the cage. At that moment Benedict flew out of the food doors at the bottom. We’d forgotten to cover them. I set up the cage again but he


wouldn’t approach. At 5 pm he was on the ground foraging against the wire. Could I trap him? I’ve done it before. I crept forward without him spotting me, threw a black sheet over him as he flew up. His head poked out of the top but he was back in the aviary after a 24-hour escape. Only one of Beatrice’s two chicks survived. We called him Lucky. Prevention is better than cure. Strong enough wire and porch doors. But if an aviary bird does escape, keep optimistic and watchful and with time and patience, you may well retrieve her.


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