Most Portsmouth residents have to deal with heavy traffic and tolls while making their way to Norfolk, but it appears one lucky guy managed to skip the hassle.
It helps that he’s a bird.
Jim, a small yellow parakeet, flew his coup in mid to late June, according to his owner Javier De Luca-Johnson. He didn’t know where the bird went.
Then, last weekend, one Ghent resident spotted a parakeet with similar markings hanging around her neighborhood. The sightings prompted a community bird watch and a social media posting asking if anyone had lost their bird.
De Luca-Johnson’s wife saw the post, and the couple is now trying for a reunion.
“If it’s Jim, I’m happy that Jim’s alive,” De Luca-Johnson said. “Whether we are able to get him back, I’m just happy he’s surviving and still alive.”
Catching a parakeet isn’t easy.
Sharon Salyer of Ghent said she first noticed the bird in a mulberry tree near the church behind her house. It took her a minute, but when the bird got closer to her house and hang out in her yard she realized it was a parakeet.
After speaking with a neighbor who raises finches, Salyer decided to put out a cage with food to see if the parakeet would come down. Once that didn’t work, Salyer took to the Nextdoor social media network to see if anyone nearby had lost a parakeet.
From there, Salyer and De Luca-Johnson started talking. They arranged a time for De Luca-Johnson and his wife to bring Jim’s sibling, Blubie, over to see if her calls would entice the parakeet back.
So far, the couple haven’t had any luck.
Salyer said that several people in her neighborhood are on the lookout for the parakeet. If anyone sees him, they plan to call De Luca-Johnson as soon as possible.
De Luca-Johnson thinks the bird got out while his two young daughters — who named both parakeets — were playing outside and left the door open.
When home, Blubie and Jim were generally inseparable, De Luca-Johnson said. They liked to fly around the house together.
“They make the house really warm because they’re always talking and singing,” he said. “We’ll just be hanging around the house and they’ll be flying around talking to each other and vocalizing and it’s just really magical having them in the house.”
Jim and Blubie had bonded with each other after the family got them two years ago.
“Now that Blubie is a solo bird, we don’t hear her talk as much,” De Luca-Johnson said.
De Luca-Johnson plans to keep bringing Blubie over to Salyer’s house with his favorite treats in hopes that Jim — if it is Jim — will return.
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