Stop the nonexistent presses! Kingstonist has the inside scoop on a fledgling fledgling who flew the coop!
In the interest of full disclosure, we would be remiss to omit that one of the sources for this article is none other than one of our own reporters here at Kingstonist, but this adorable avian anecdote was such a prime example of one of those wonderful ways the Kingston community is so awesome, we had to share it… and they say the early bird always catches the worm, anyway, right?
Part of her heart is in Havana, and Havana came home: The tale of two friends reunited
Half of Taylor Tye’s heart is in Havana, which is just one part of why she was so devastated that her three-year-old Lutino Cockatiel, named Havana, escaped from her on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Around 5 p.m., Tye had rolled Havana’s bird cage on to her back deck to enjoy the outdoors when the bird accidentally escaped. Tye says this happened once before, so she was confident that Havana would return to her once called for. Tye could see her pet bird in a nearby tree, but when she encouraged Havana to return, a nighthawk swooped down, scaring the bird, and provoking her to fly off.
In a flash, Havana was gone. Tye felt defeated. Her partner, Tristen Arndt, drove around the neighbourhood looking for the tropical bird in the trees, but with no luck.
By morning, there was still no sign of her. Lutino Cockatiels fly up, and they fly fast. Tye knew that her bird could be anywhere by that time. It was at this point that Tye decided to post to the ‘Lost and Found Kingston Pets’ group on Facebook, a group she had not been aware of, or part of, until that day. Miraculously, the first post she saw there was a picture of Havana a user had posted.
In the same thread on the post, another user had posted a picture of Havana at Lake Ontario Park three hours prior. Tye wasted no time, immediately bringing Havana’s cage and treats to the park, where she walked through the trees searching for her. After an hour of looking for Havana to no avail, and feeling deflated, Tye returned home.
When her partner, Arndt, returned home from work that evening to find Havana’s cage still empty, he was deeply saddened by the loss of their beloved bird. However, when Tye mentioned that she had seen community members posting pictures of Havana at Lake Ontario Park, he urged his partner to return to the area with him to look for their bird one more time.
As luck would have it, a security guard for the Beechgrove Complex Recreation Centre, located slightly east of Lake Ontario Park, was doing his patrols. He was approached by an older gentleman, who showed him a picture of a cockatiel he had seen at the park, asking for assistance. The security guard immediately knew that the exotic animal must be domesticated and said he, “didn’t want anything to happen to [it],” so he followed the gentleman to where he had seen the bird.
“I stuck my finger out, as if asking the bird to step up, kind of like a basic trick most people teach their birds. She just stepped right up on my finger,” the security guard says.
He then brought the cockatiel back to his vehicle, weary of the other animals in the park that could potentially harm the bird and the possibility that it could escape again.
“[My trainee and I] were keeping our eyes open for anyone walking around with a cage,” he says.
Toward the end of his shift, the security guard spotted a couple, walking around with a cage and asked if they were looking for something. When the pair described the bird he had in his car, he knew he had found the bird’s owners.
By a twist of fate, and one keen security guard, Tye and Arndt had been reunited with Havana.
“The reunion was surreal,” Tye says. “It was just so weird watching the security guard put his arm in the car, and her hopping on his arm like they had become best buddies. And then [Havana] seeing us, and just ‘tweet tweet’ like nothing had happened.”
Tye is extremely grateful to the community members who posted about Havana in the Lost and Found Kingston Pet Group, as well as those who looked for her in the park, including the security guard.
Tye says they have taken extra precautions to ensure Havana does not embark on any more adventures. As for Havana, “she’s her usual self,” Tye says. “Except, more adventurous now.”
Editorial note: Taylor Tye, the owner of Havana the cockatiel, is a reporter with Kingstonist.