Sonny the ring-necked parakeet. (Submitted photo/Gina Funk)

Sonny the ring-necked parakeet. (Submitted photo/Gina Funk)

Terrace parakeet flies the coop

Sonny the Indian ring-necked parakeet has been sighted frequently around town

Have you noticed a unique green bird around Terrace? It could be Sonny, an escaped Indian ring-necked parakeet.

The robin-sized bird has been on the loose in Terrace ever since he flew away from his owner three months ago.

“He’s been outside on my shoulder and he’s been outside on his perch for hours and hours on end,” said Gina Funk, Sonny’s owner.

“I went outside with a bin in my hand and I went to go dump the water and he was on my shoulder, and I think the big bin scared him and he flew off.”

That happened on June 19. After he flew away, Funk did not see Sonny for around a month, and assumed he was gone for good.

“I honestly thought he was gone, I thought crows had gotten him,” she said.

Then, she got a call from a woman who had spotted Sonny on Medeek Ave. in an orchard. Funk said that she was able to use a ladder and get close to the bird, but he had no intention of coming home.

“I was like ‘come here, come here,’ and he said back ‘come here, come here’ but then he wouldn’t come to me, I think he’s gone wild,” said Funk.

Since that first attempted capture, Funk has tried to catch him around 30 times using different methods but has not been successful. She said that it seems like she gets daily messages on Facebook from people who have spotted Sonny in Terrace.

Sonny has been seen on the south side of the city on Evergreen St., Graham Ave. and even Braun’s Island since he left the northern reaches of Terrace’s horseshoe.

On Aug. 17, Darla Sporri posted to the Terrace Community Bulletin Board Facebook group that she had seen Sonny on Pear St.

That post was commented on by several other people saying they had seen him in various trees and backyards.

“He is making friends with the woodpeckers.. haha.. and those dove pigeon birds,” Sporri said in a Facebook comment.

The Indian ring-necked parakeet, also known as a rose-ringed parakeet is native to the Indian subcontinent. They are herbivores — Sonny has been observed eating different types of berries.

Sonny isn’t the first ring-necked parakeet to thrive in a new environment. In fact, ring-necked parakeets have had incredible success in Europe as an invasive species. A 2016 study found that there are 65 wild populations of the species across 37 European countries, totalling over 85,000 individuals.

Researchers believe that the booming populations in Europe are due to the repeated release of pet birds.

The birds are successful in the Himalayas of northern India and Pakistan, as well as England and the Netherlands. A study from Molecular Ecology on ring-necked parakeet genetics indicated that tolerance to cold is more likely than tolerance to high temperatures.

But Terrace can see temperatures as cold as minus 25 degrees Celsius during the winter, so Funk hopes to get Sonny back before the weather changes.

“If it ever got cold, it wouldn’t be good,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. parrot sings along to Adele for National Bird Day


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Most Read