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Dear readers, I sadly inform you that Metro is no longer with us. He has been claimed!

Mary P. got in touch with us after reading our Craigslist posting when she realized our guest was the same bird that had escaped from her RV earlier that day. After 10 excellent days of residence, our new friend found his way home.

Who's number 1?

His way? Actually, 'her' way. Metro is not Metro, and his name is not his name, but rather her name, and her name is Isabella. But on principle, we reaffirm the right of any bird to define his or her gender identity as he or she sees fit.

We were delighted to receive over three dozen e-mails alternately supporting, criticizing, and informing our rescue and recovery effort:

Ashley H., whose years of experience as a bird owner made her a reliable source of information. Thank you for the offer of a non-newspaper-box cage, and for the white millet seed tip!

Lake V., Brooke, Susan T., and Emily L. all explained that the gender of this variety of bird can be determined by examining the cere, or patch of skin in which the nostrils are found. A blue or purple cere will be found on a male, while the cere on a female is a duller brown.

Brooke also offered valuable suggestions on sisal rope recreational equipment and budgie diet.

Bart V.'s* donation allowed us to keep the nutritional pellets rolling in.

Matthew requested that we post dirty-birdie pictures. Sorry, but you'll have to purchase a membership to see our exclusive site content. If you can't satisfy your appetites until then, check out

Denise C. inquired as to whether our feathered houseguest was sufficiently oxygenated. Worry not! Our cage tech team perforated the newspaper box with numerous small holes placed in interesting patterns. It was a happy, airy aerie.

James G. bawled us out for not knowing better when "obviously this wild creatur [sic] is better off free instead of caged up so some f****** hipster kids can have some fun." Although we respect your concern for Metro's wellbeing, we are somewhat offended at your reckless use of the term "hipster." The label doesn't carry the cachet it once had.

The Metro newspaper box has been cleaned up and returned to its former location on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. It is missing some internal components, but it is our hope that Metro Corp will be able to refurbish their equipment. Thieves and vandals we prefer not to be!

Thanks for your support, and for reading. If you know of any other animal adventures that demand to be shared, let the team know by e-mailing us. Until then, stay beautiful, love life, and take care of each other.

© 2005. METRO: A PARAKEET STORY. Thank you to Zachary Bos for hosting this page.
* Full disclosure: Bart V. is the uncle of one of the rescuers. We are amazed that he was able to discover this online chronicle of Metro's tale, considering that he lives in New Jersey, but are grateful for his donation. We'll write soon, Uncle Bart!