Yesterday morning, we got up at 4:30 or something like that because Chris had an early call. I got him out the door and was in the aviary feeding the birds when I noticed that one of the society finches -- possibly the new baby society finch, or else its parent -- was on top of the aviary rather than in it. It seems some of the mesh had come loose and he'd escaped through a tiny opening. I tried to open it more to get him back in but he freaked and flew away. So I put the mesh back and went out to try and catch him.
He was on the outside of the aviary, near one end where, if I stood on a chair and was fast and deft I could catch him. Except then Gracie came out and went into her cat stalking pose and Little Finchie flew off. I spent the next ten minutes trying to catch Gracie, who kept trying to catch Little Finchie, with me yelling "NO, GRACIE, NO!!!" It was falling on deaf ears.
I finally got Gracie locked inside and spent the next 20 minutes trying to catch Gilda, who is possible an even better hunter than Gracie. I finally trapped her in the airlock of the bird cage and locked her inside, too.
That just left the job of catching Little Finchie, all alone in the wide wide world. He truly wanted to get back in the aviary, and spent a lot of time sitting on top, underneath the roof overhang, with the other society finches below him peeping wildly, either giving him instructions "Go around to the side. There's a door there!" or reaming him out. "You idiot! What were you thinking?!"
Every so often he'd fly to one end of the deck and then back to the cage, cocking his little head, trying to figure it all out. I had opened the airlock and baited it with a spray of millet. I also put one on top of the cage in case he was planning to live there for any period of time.
And then, since I had tons to do and I could not sit out there for three hours waiting for a finch to come to his senses, I went inside and did the dishes. Went and checked on him. Still on top of the cage. Went and tidied up the dining room. Went and checked on him. Still on top of the cage. Started emptying the freezer for the Thursday delivery of the new fridge. Went and checked on him. Still on top of the cage. Took the frozen food downstairs. Went and checked on him. Still on top of the cage. Took my shower. Went and checked on him. He was gone.
Oh no, I thought. I was neglectful and a hawk swooped in and ate him.
But then I saw him, way inside the airlock, peeping at his friends through the mesh, trying to get in.
So I stepped into the airlock and closed the door. Then I opened the door to the aviary... and in he went.
Phew. I didn't want my finchies traumatized.
And think about it. How many other birds get loose and spend their time outside trying to get back in? Something must be right at the Cornerstoregoddess Aviary.
I'll try to get a pic of Ms. Finchie... now that she's back.