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Published April 30, 2011, 09:33 PM

Minnesota man says someone stole giant plywood parrot

LEWISTON, Minn. — A Lewiston man hopes authorities will help him identify who stole a giant plywood parrot that's part of his creative art effort to recycle old farm equipment.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

LEWISTON, Minn. — A Lewiston man hopes authorities will help him identify who stole a giant plywood parrot that's part of his creative art effort to recycle old farm equipment.

Jim Schloegel told the Winona Daily News that he believes one of his giant, brightly-colored parrots was stolen last week after he went to the 'bird cage' he keeps them in and found the chains had been broken by a bolt cutter.

"I'm more puzzled as to why you would take it," Schloegel said. "Why?"

Schloegel, 48, handcrafted the bird cage and parrots about six years ago as a creative effort to recycle farm equipment he couldn't throw away or sell. He and his brother spent six months on the project, assembling a bird cage out of a corn crib and painting the parrots.

"We just said we got to do something unique," he said. "And we went with it."

Schloegel started with two parrots, and eventually added two more. As the older ones weathered, he replaced them with newer painted parrots.

Eventually, the art became well known and his neighbors use the display as a landmark for directions.

Schloegel values the stolen bird at about $200 for his time and effort. He has little hope the pilfered parrot will be returned.

"It's kind of like winning the lottery," said Schloegel, who is not sure if he'll have time to make another one. "Your chances are pretty thin."

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