March 9 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
A handful of beloved birds have been returned following an online appeal after strong winds blew over their garden home – but others are feared lost forever as they remain undiscovered a week later.
Jo Ford’s cockatiels were housed in an aviary in her Wymondham garden, but the weather knocked it over on Christmas Eve, releasing the birds.
While five were found after a plea for help on Facebook, six remain in the wild and Ms Ford believes they may have now died.
The 59-year-old, from Norwich Road, who began keeping cockatiels following the closure of her Norwich pet store 10 years ago, said she could initially hear the birds in nearby trees shortly after the incident, but this had now stopped.
“I’ll never forget seeing it tossed on its side – it was like matchsticks,” she said. “To hear them flying around was heartbreaking – they couldn’t survive in the wild, we know that and it’s the worst bit. There are other birds which will pick on them or they’ll die because they can’t get to food. We’ve put food out and called and called.”
Twenty-year-old Jasper returned to the garden first, while 16-year-old Toby was found at nearby Waitrose – both had been hand-reared by Ms Ford. Another was returned after it was found by a woman on Whispering Oaks, a third was found in Hethersett and a further one in the Waitrose car park.
“Jasper and Toby were hand-reared but the aviary birds are wilder. We just built up the colours over the years and you build up a collection.
“I can’t thank people enough for finding them and the fact social media has spread the word has been incredible,” she added. “We would normally be very practical about things but when I saw the aviary that morning it was devastating because I knew how old they were and the chance of getting them back was minute.”