Pet cockatiels injured in attack with stick

June 15, 1994|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Staff Writer

Patrick and Mary Schimpf's hand-raised cockatiels were so tame they would step without hesitation onto an outstretched finger. But Monday evening, the Annapolis family found the six birds hovering fearfully in a corner of their backyard cage.

Someone had broken through the fence in the rear of the Schimpf's house, tore the cage's mesh screen, and battered the birds with a stick. Two were seriously injured.

"There's no sense in hurting these birds," Mrs. Schimpf said yesterday, as she stroked Mindy, one of the injured birds. "They are the gentlest creatures in the world."

The little gray bird's beak was bloodied and its neck scratched. Mrs. Schimpf worried that its nasal passages were broken.

"We were lucky there were no broken wings," she said.

The family began raising the cockatiels three years ago. During the summers, the birds inhabit an outdoor aviary in the Schimpfs' yard in the 200 block of Chatham Lane.

Mrs. Schimpf had put the birds out Monday morning. At 6 p.m., they were fine. But when Mrs. Schimpf went out at 7:30 p.m., she discovered the hole in the back of cage, feathers strewn about, and the frightened and injured birds.

"It looks like originally they tried to catch them," Mrs. Schimpf said.

But unable to grab the birds, the assailant took a stick and began to swat them. Two young birds not yet able to fly were the luckiest. They were able to hover in the bottom of the cage, out of reach.

The adult birds that frantically flew around the cage received injuries to their wings, necks and heads.

The Schimpfs were home at the time, but the disturbance was drowned out by the noise of their heat pump, Mrs. Schimpf said.

They think the culprit was a child, judging from the size of a footprint nearby.

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