Fargo family looks for pet cockatiel
What about Bob? That's the question pecking away at a south Fargo family. Jolyn, David and BreAnne Krabbenhoft are searching for their pet cockatiel. Bob has been on the lam since June 9, when a low-flying military jet spooked him from a tree...
What about Bob?
That's the question pecking away at a south Fargo family.
Jolyn, David and BreAnne Krabbenhoft are searching for their pet cockatiel.
Bob has been on the lam since June 9, when a low-flying military jet spooked him from a tree near the Krabbenhoft family perch between South High and Lewis and Clark Elementary.
Their "Got Bob?" search slogan mirrors the national "Got Milk?" campaign.
Thanks to family friend Lois Novacek, Bob's beak is posted on fliers around the metro area and on the Internet ( www.bird hotline. com).
The Krabbenhofts, Novacek and members of the metro "bird rescue team" have also searched house to house in a five-block area.
"Because he's so friendly, and he likes people so much, I can't imagine he hasn't found a family yet," Jolyn Krabbenhoft said Monday.
"My husband thinks he's just living it up. Who knows, he could be having a gay, old time out there. He's real smart."
Bob is a gray male cockatiel with a yellow head and orange cheeks. But it's his musical ability that could put him in a cockatiel boy band.
Bob whistles with the best. You name it: wolf whistles, shave and a haircut, Happy Birthday, La Cucaracha and -- the piece de resistance -- the theme song from the Andy Griffith Show. It was a family affair teaching Bob, who was a Christmas gift five years ago for BreAnne, then 13.
"We made training tapes and we'd whistle over and over until our cheeks hurt," Jolyn said. "I don't know. We're strange people."
Somehow, Bob also learned to whistle for the Krabbenhoft's two Siamese cats. Not a good survival trait.
"He's a real thrill-seeker," Jolyn admitted.
Bob made his break while getting some fresh air in the back yard. While family members were distracted, Bob picked his cage lock. Still, he perched in a tree for an hour, whistling at Jolyn, before the jets sent him packing.
Cockatiels are native to Australia. They're free-ranging birds, so, anything that resembles a "homing instinct" is purely accidental.
The cockatiel's penchant for straying could mean a 50-mile search radius.
"Bob could be in DL (Detroit Lakes) right now, for all we know," Jolyn said.
If there is an identifier for Bob, it's that he's not banded. Jolyn said she's received several calls from people who have found banded birds.
Georgia Tuchscherer, the secretary and co-founder of the Red River Valley Pet Bird Club, said it usually takes three days for cockatiels to get hungry.
Then they look for a human to mooch from.
"They're our kids. We're mom and dad to our little critters. I'm sure he's scared to death," Tuchscherer said. "Everytime I'm out now, I'm looking into the trees and keying on sounds."
Jolyn now wishes she had Bob's flight feathers clipped.
"If Bob comes back, Bob's got a surprise. He's getting his wings clipped," she said.
But "don't tell him."
The Krabbenhofts can be reached at (701) 293-7443.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583