A Shelburne Parakeet Finds Adventure in the Queen City | True 802 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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A Shelburne Parakeet Finds Adventure in the Queen City


Published August 9, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated August 14, 2017 at 2:50 p.m.

  • Courtesy of Spike Robinson
  • Dr. Who, right

A precocious parakeet escaped from its Shelburne enclosure last week and appears to have headed for the big city of Burlington. Dr. Who flew off August 2, according to owner Karin "Spike" Robinson. Two Oakledge Park patrons spotted the budgie scavenging for food last Friday and Saturday.

Parakeets are observant, curious and gregarious, said Robinson. "He's probably been hanging out with some wild birds and watching what they eat."

Dr. Who is named after the popular TV show and can't talk, according to Robinson, but he is friendly. Brandon Westburg was renting out paddleboards at Oakledge when the brightly colored turquoise, yellow and black bird approached and walked onto his finger. Westburg called Robinson after learning through social media that it was her bird, but he wasn't able to capture the little guy.

"It was pretty wild. Initially I just thought, What is this parakeet doing here at Oakledge?" said Westburg. "It made for a great story, and I had some fun while I was hanging out with him."

Robinson and her husband searched Oakledge over the weekend and brought along Dr. Who's cage-mate, a parakeet named Captain Jack.

Eventually they "realized that we were just stressing ourselves out — and Jack, too."

If spotted, the 3-year-old bird's mammalian mommy said, Dr. Who can be lured with a piece of broccoli or a sprig of millet. He responds to "Step up," according to Robinson.

Westburg took a picture with Dr. Who, giving Robinson renewed hope.  

"He looked a little bit disheveled, and he's definitely flying a bit lower now, but he's obviously getting some food, which is good," said Robinson. "I'm really very proud of him. That sounds kind of weird but it's like, my God, you go, guy! Until I got that call, I was kind of going, 'OK, well, he's gone but he had a good life with us.' Then all of a sudden he shows up at Oakledge!"

Anyone seen the doctor? Email spikeoramathon@gmail.com.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Flew the Coop"