Nancy Wagner is all smiles after being reunited with her bird Niles.
Nancy Wagner is all smiles after being reunited with her bird Niles. Scottie Simmonds

Niles and Nancy reunited

WHEN a Millbank woman's seven-year-old pet cockatiel escaped through an open door and took off in full flight, she almost gave up hope of ever finding her again.

But it would seem the bird was not ready to fly the coop for good, and it came as a great surprise when Niles was reunited with her owner, Nancy Wagner, and her despondent cockatiel mate, more than two weeks after she escaped.

Niles's great escape came on Father's Day, when Mrs Wagner accidentally left a door open.

What followed were endless searches of the skies and several ads placed in the Lost and Found section of the NewsMail.

"I had a couple of people ringing up who had lost birds," she said.

"One actually talked and didn't even look like Niles at all."

It wasn't until the NewsMail published a story on Niles's disappearance two weeks later that the Wagner family received the call they'd been desperately hoping for.

"My husband got a phone call from a lady who thought it sounded like our bird," Mrs Wagner said.

Although Niles has remained tight-beaked about her adventure, it would seem that she flew from Millbank all the way past the Ring Rd.

"I don't know how she got there - she used to get puffed after a few circles of the lounge," Mrs Wagner said.

The family who found the lost bird took her in and, according to Mrs Wagner, gave her lots of love.

"They were a lovely family," she said.

"They got quite attached to her."

Mrs Wagner said it broke her heart when the family's young daughter said, "you're taking my bird".

"If I hadn't have had the male cockatiel missing her so badly at home, I would have been inclined to let them have her," she said.



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