ADAMS -- Just as Laurie Scott was about to give up hope on finding her beloved Merlin, a harlequin parrot who escaped from Scott’s Burt Street home July 16, she was reunited with him at Valley Street Field on Sunday.
"He’s doing a lot of sleeping and yawning," Scott said. "So am I."
Over his 13-day adventure that saw several rescue attempts, Scott employed Facebook to help her locate Merlin and gained a lot of new friends as well as support from her neighbors.
Merlin’s flight took him from Burt Street to Upton Street for the first few days. After an unsuccessful attempt to capture him using Troy’s Tree Service on July 18, he flew to Crotteau Street, where he stayed for a couple of days until he was scared by an Adams Police cruiser.
He spent about seven days on Kerr Avenue, where Troy’s Tree Service once again volunteered their services to try to reach Merlin on Thursday, July 26. After Brett Cook cleared a path through the trees to minimize the distance the bucket truck would need to reach Merlin, the parrot took off and flew to Friend Street.
After working several hours with volunteers to help lure Merlin down, Scott had to give up rescue efforts for a couple of days because of a commitment to volunteer at Forest Park Country Club for the 11th annual Daniel Petithory Golf Tournament.
"I thought that was it," Scott said.
On Friday, Scott and her boyfriend, Chris, went to the
"I was so happy," she said. "But I had to go."
On Saturday morning, Scott and her roommate James rose early in the morning to try to locate Merlin. But this time, the bird was startled and flew off. While Scott was at the tournament, she used Facebook to send out a plea. Merlin was then located at Valley Street Field.
Bill and Diane Spina, who run a disc jockey service, recorded Scott’s voice and played it along with some classical jazz music to keep Merlin calm.
By Sunday morning, Scott went alone to the soccer field and located Merlin. Squawking in response to Scott’s calls to him, Merlin slowly worked his way down the branches of a tree and slid right onto Scott.
"There was not a lot of grip," she said. "He was exhausted. He was done. He had had enough."
Still, Scott had a "death grip" on Merlin as she walked back to her car with him.
"There’s no way I was letting him go," she said.
Merlin, who is not a "snuggly bird," according to Scott, sat on her lap the whole drive home.
For his first 24 hours back home, Scott restricted Merlin’s food intake due to his shrunken crop, or stomach, giving him a tablespoon of food every half hour and allowing him all the water he could drink.
With the nearest avian veterinarian located in Gardner, Scott is monitoring Merlin closely and looking for any signs of deterioration that would require him to be treated professionally. As of Monday morning, he was eating normally.
Now that Merlin is safely home, Scott plans to create an Internet fan page for Merlin and hopes to hold a community picnic at her home in late August to thank everyone who assisted during Merlin’s absence.
"The response was incredible. People went above and beyond for ‘just a bird,’ " Scott said.