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April 6, 2013

A home for Charlie

Lost cockatiel finds a cozy nest in Salisbury

SALISBURY — Veronica Atlantis knew she had a mission to attend to after learning about a lost cockatiel that was stranded up a tree at Salisbury Beach Reservation in the chilly mid-March air.

Atlantis, who runs a boarding house for birds, was moved to help the errant cockatiel when she read about its plight in The Daily News.

The cockatiel, which was discovered by a weekly birdwatching group, had been rescued from its 30-foot-high perch within the reservation by staff members Mike Magnifico and Allison Bishop after they got a call from police dispatcher Kristine Harrison,

“She said, `I got a good one for you,’” Magnifico said of Harrison’s call. “She said there was a cockatoo up a tree in the reservation. It was actually a cockatiel. Boy, what a beautiful bird.”

Magnifico and Bishop took the rescued bird, which was banded, to Newbury Animal Hospital for safe keeping with hopes of finding its owner.

Enter Atlantis who has rescued abused and unwanted birds for years, and who also runs Seaside Pet Minder in Salisbury. The service caters to dogs and cats, but also out-of-the-ordinary pets. Going on vacation and need someone to keep an eye on your aquarium or iguana? If so, Atlantis responds to the challenge.

Her heart went out to the cockatiel and she contacted the animal hospital to see if she could help. She searched for the bird’s possible owner, using such online tools as Petfinder, 911ParrotAlert and craigslist. But she found nothing; no one was hunting for the lost-in-flight cockatiel, she said.

“He had a band on his leg that said Florida,” Atlantis said. “It indicates he may have come from a big bird breeder in the south and shipped up here to be sold from a place like Petco. We think he escaped from a pet shop somewhere.”

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