By Madeline Hughes
and Lisa Scagliotti
Captain, a blue ring-necked parakeet, flew the coop on Saturday through an open door in his Colchester home.
He happened to land near the Southern Acres section of Shelburne Farms onto a resident there who notified police.
The call came in Monday morning as veterinarian and Shelburne Selectboard member Dr. Josh Dein happened to be at the Shelburne town offices.
“One of the dispatchers asked me if I knew anyone that had a blue parrot. Someone who lives in one of the houses at Shelburne Farms had called to say one had just landed on her shoulder,” Dein said. “So, as part of my routine Selectboard duties, I ended up going with [Officer] Bob Lake to pick it up.”
Dein said the ring-necked parakeet was “quite human-comfortable.”
Lake asked Dein if he would take care of the bird until police could track down its owner. Dein agreed, but said he did wonder how long that might take.
He took the bird to Shelburne Veterinary Hospital where he was working that morning so it could be scanned for a microchip ID. They scanned. No ID.
Meanwhile, Shelburne Police Department and the dispatch center were on the case.
The Shelburne Communications Center posted photos of the bird perched on the shoulder of a person who was outdoors.
On Monday, the photos had made it to WCAX-TV and they were on the evening news telling viewers to call Shelburne Police if they were missing a large blue bird.
Unbeknownst to the police or the TV station, Colchester resident Anne Marie Fontaine Trainque on Saturday evening had posted on Facebook photos of her missing bird with a message: “My Boy flew out the door.”
Her post said the bird was named Captain, that he was greatly missed, and to call her if he was spotted.
A friend of Fontaine Trainque recognized the bird on Shelburne Dispatch’s Facebook post, and alerted her to the parakeet’s whereabouts.
In no time, Fontaine Trainque connected with Shelburne Police and resolved the whole caper.
By 5:30 p.m. Monday, she posted a relieved and happy update: “Captain has been found and back in my arms. God bless all of you for your prayers.”