A West Vancouver woman has been reunited with a feathered friend after her lovebird Cheeky flew out a window and was rescued several blocks away by a passing stranger.
Delia Hughes said she thought Cheeky - an eight-month-old lovebird with green wings and a violet tail - might be gone for good when he made a break for freedom last month
Hughes - who lives at the foot of 19th Street - said she doesn't usually keep the window open when the bird is out of his cage, but was distracted that day by the phone.
Cheeky saw his chance and took it. When Hughes returned to the room, the lovebird was nowhere to be found.
Hughes said she went outside and called to the bird - which he usually responds to - but got no answer. She took Cheeky's cage downstairs and left it open on the patio. Still no dice.
Eventually she called the SPCA to report her missing pet. Then she gave up.
"There was nothing I could do," she said. "I had an awful night."
Unbeknownst to Hughes, Cheeky had made it about six blocks from her apartment into the urban jungle of West Vancouver.
But freedom wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and Cheeky soon found himself among distinctly unfriendly avians in the vicinity of 13th Street and Clyde Avenue.
It was there that a passerby saw the small bird being harassed by a group of crows.
The man whistled to Cheeky, who apparently hopped onto his shoulder and eagerly agreed to be rescued.
The stranger took the bird home and kept him overnight. The next day, he took Cheeky to the SPCA - where staff immediately figured out he must be Hughes' missing lovebird.
"It's unheard of, really, to get a little bird back," said Hughes. Hughes said she's thrilled to have Cheeky back - despite his propensity to occasional naughtiness.
"He's eaten through a lamp shade," she said. Usually, Cheeky is very affectionate, she said, and spends his time perched on her head or shoulder.