LEWISTON — Typically, when somebody loses a pet bird, it’s a matter of checking a tree or two in the yard.

Things aren’t so easy for Olivia Garant.

When her parakeet flew the coop on Tuesday, the bird had a lot of trees to explore — Garant lives near Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, which could be good news or bad, depending on how you look at it.

The bird, a canary-winged parakeet, is named “Meow,” but Garant finds that she mostly calls her pet “Bird.” That’s because the parakeet seems to be fond of the song “Surfin’ Bird,” as featured on the TV show “Family Guy.”

It’s all very confusing.

Garant, 28, got the parakeet roughly a year ago as she prepared to drive to Maine from Wisconsin after heading there to study veterinary medicine.

“She actually rode back with me,” Garant said, “Along with a dog and some cats.”

The bird is very affectionate, Garant said, with one caveat.

“She’s terrified of human hands,” Garant said. “She’ll land on my shoulder, kiss my cheek or play in my hair, but if I touch her with my hands, she’ll scream.”

Which, of course, means that recapturing the lost pet could be tricky.

On Tuesday, Garant was at her home, in the Sabattus Street area, when she opened the door to let her dog out. At the time, Meow was sitting on her cage, perfectly content until Garant wandered away.

“She doesn’t like it when I’m out of her sight,” Garant said.

The bird made a beeline for the door, flying so fast that Garant feared that simply closing the door would have killed her pet.

Meow flew into a nearby tree, where she began to scream in panic.

“It broke my heart,” Garant said. “She was scared.”

The bird flew away later and has not been seen since. Garant has taken several steps in hopes of getting her pet back. There’s a small ad in the Sun Journal and others on Craigslist, as well as lost pet websites.

She’s contacted bird recovery groups and enlisted friends, family and strangers. She’s been all over Facebook and she’s hanging signs at the pet store.

The response, while fruitless so far, has been surprisingly helpful.

“People have been great,” Garant said.

Meow, a green rainforest bird with yellow markings on one side, did not have clipped wings, Garant said. That means she can fly naturally over great distances. But Garant is worried that her pet may have struggled in wind and rain storms over recent days.

But she’s not giving up.

Garant is mulling the idea of offering a reward for the return of her parakeet. Anyone who spots Meow, aka “Bird,” is asked to call Garant at 576-4756.


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