Karyn Cleary and her husband were sitting at home in Nipomo on Sunday, listening to the wind and the rain, when Cleary noticed the roof on her large backyard aviary was flopping. She ran outside and got into the aviary. As she did that, a massive gust of wind picked up the roof — and took her birds with it.
“I saw the whole thing happen, and that’s what bothers me the most,” she said. “They couldn’t control their flying at all.”
Now, Cleary is asking the community for help in finding about 30 birds she lost in the storm.
Among the lost birds were 20 to 25 parakeets, a white dove and three cockatiels. One of the cockatiels has been with Cleary for about 20 years. She kept them mostly in a 10-foot-tall aviary in the backyard, which gave them more room to fly.
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The noise they make also drowns out traffic noise, Cleary said.
“That’s what’s been so nice about having the birds outside,” said said. “I’d rather hear tropical sounds than the sounds of the cars rushing by.”
Cleary said it’s not likely they will get the birds back, but they’re still holding out hope.
Her daughter has posted fliers around Nipomo for the birds, and many people have heard about it through social media.
“I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and the communication with so many people, from Cayucos to Santa Barbara,” she said. “I realize that people go through a lot more than what we’re going through, but they took this as being just as personal.”
The parakeets vary in color. One of the cockatiels is bright yellow, another is solid gray, and the third is gray with peach-colored cheeks. All of the cockatiels talk. Cleary said she doesn’t have much hope for the white dove because the dove couldn’t fly. None of the birds have a band on their leg, which is common in birds sold by a breeder or pet store.
Cleary asks anyone who thinks they may have found one of her birds to call 805-709-5674.