A Bird Tale

May 5, 2010

Do you remember back in 2008 when Paul and I took care of 50 baby parrots for a couple of weeks?  I wrote about the experience here and here and here. When they left our care I wrote about them here.

When they were about a year old Conrehabit released them to the wild, but a few were evaluated as either being too tame or physically unable to live in the wild.  That’s how we ended up with Pancho and Lefty.  Pancho always seemed just fine to us, but Lefty has a twisted right foot so he obviously needs to live in captivity.  We have enjoyed having them, and most of the time their shared cage has been out on our back patio, where we spend a substantial amount of time.


In November of 2009 I was visiting in Mexico City and Paul had stayed home.  He was cleaning the cage one day and both birds  escaped!  Lefty couldn’t fly well and was recaptured from a bush in our yard but Pancho was long gone.  He went fast and furious and never looked back.  We were upset, but figured that he knew best if he was ready to live in the wild.

A couple days later our friends and bloggers Sandie and Mike saw him and wrote a blog post about it! They lived just two blocks from us and we assumed he would eventually join up with a flock that occupies some big trees a few more blocks over.


Fast forward to mid April 2010  – one morning I heard Lefty chirping regularly, and it was like he was talking or calling to another bird.  I looked and looked and saw nothing.  Then in the middle of the day I was out near his cage and realized that there was a bird talking back to him!  Again I searched and searched and finally found Pancho, sitting in a tree just a few feet from me!

I got a dish of food and attached it to a branch.  You could tell he was very tempted!  After probably 15 minutes he decided to go for the food.  He tried to fly but fluttered to the ground and looked relieved when I picked him up and placed him in our extra cage.  He was dehydrated and hungry and his feathers were a mess!  He had obviously had a hard time of it, especially one whole day where he tried and tried to get my attention without leaving his post!

We kept the two birds separated over night just in case Pancho was terminally ill or something, but the next day they got to share the same cage, like before.  They seem happy, and Pancho will make little cooing sounds when I come over to the cage sometimes.

So that’s the story of  Pancho, the Half Moon Conure.


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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Thanks for the update. Your rescue effort with the birds in 2008 was a perfect reflection of your kindness. And it continues to show.

      1. Thanks, Steve. Now….aren’t you supposed to be working now???

    1. I lived in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro for almost a year. In 2008 my mother-in-law’s two half-moon conure’s escaped. My mother-in-law was heart-broken.
      Like yours, one of the parrots was captured quickly, about three days after his escape. We considered ourselves lucky to have found one and assumed that the other had not survived. We lived in a very rural area and imagined several possibilities: he could have been eaten by predators, shot by hunters, or have starved to death. I figured that a bird born and raised in captivity would have a hard time finding food on his own.
      One day, after a couple months had passed, my mother-in-law was doing laundry outside at her “lavadero” when she noticed that Carlitos was a bit restless. He squawked quite a bit and did not seem like himself that morning. His behavior continued throughout the day, and finally she realized that his companion was in a nearby tree. She was able to entice him with some sunflower seeds and he came back!

    1. Awwww… I love happy endings!! That is so wonderful. Like an adolescent, Pancho got to go off and try life on his own and had the smarts to get back to mom when it wasn’t going well. You made my day, that makes me so happy.

    1. Steve, I know, I was only teasing you.

      Leslie, It is sweet, isn’t it?

      Amber, That is so funny that your mother in law had the exact same experience! Thanks for sharing!

      Jonna, Yes, we are so glad to have him back. And I don’t know if you know conures, but they can be LOUD. And since Pancho is back they seem to make less noise… more contented, maybe?

    1. Yeah! Tango has escaped twice and we were able to get him right away. I remember when Pancho left so I am happy that he is back with you and Lefty. Oh, if he could only tell you of his adventures.

    1. Those baby bird pictures are priceless!! Babysitting FIFTY of them? Are you a “birdbrain” or what?? Kidding, of course, and how can you not chuckle just by looking at those developing little guys. It always feels so good to be taken outside one’s self, to do a kind thing for another; be it two legged, four legged or winged.

    1. Nancy – your story is making me cry. It reminded me of when Sitka was missing in Guaymas. I’m so happy for you and Paul!

    1. That is an amazing story! They look so happy to be back together again!

    1. If an animal is trying to escape, it is because he is unhappy. Why, oh why do people of this world think that birds, whose joy is to fly and cover miles in a minute, want to sit in cages? We give them a few minutes a day, and they are supposed to be SO happy to be with humans, that they like sitting in cages the rest of the time. Pancho seems to want to be fed and at the same time, have some freedom. I would like to ask you to give them a bigger living space than a cage. Thanks.

      1. Cynthia, Yes, a story with a happy ending is a good one!

        Tancho, I love the one with all the birds perched on the edge of their cage… and the one with the big tummy!

        Cheryl, They really seem happy to be back together. Pancho will eat anything now and he is teaching picky eater Lefty to clean his plate!

        Bois, I don’t think you know the situation with these birds, they were among 500 birds that had been stolen from the wild by people attempting to take them to the US to sell. Our local preservation group cared for 300 of them – and we cared for some of the very youngest. When they were released to the wild, Conrehabit decided these two couldn’t make it on their own, and we were happy to take them. Their cage would be ample for a large Macaw, it is about 3 feet by 5 feet, so they have more than enough room. They can even fly in there. They live outside but under a roof, and we and the dogs are nearby lots of the day. I believe that Pancho startled himself by flying off when he did and the fact that he eventually found his way home also speaks to his happiness where he is. I believe there are people who might need to hear your admonitions but know we aren’t among them.

    1. Hi there Nancy, I’m another Nancy in Mazatlán, with an older half moon conure. (4 yrs old.) Our Poncho flies (yes outdoors) and comes back to us with his adventure stories 😉
      We too took care of the conrehabitat parrots.
      I’ve been trying to get intouch with you…
      please send me an email, or facebook post or just give me a call, I’d love to hear more Lefty & Pancho stories. 982-0347

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