Cockatoo with annoying screech vexes exasperated residents

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BROOKLINE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -  An exotic bird that escaped an apartment is damaging homes and screeching loudly, frustrating residents of Brookline’s Historic District.

The cockatoo, named Dino, left its Pearl St., home in July, and flew to Naples Rd., where Lien Nhu Tran began feeding it corn and sunflower seeds on her porch three times daily.

But Lien Nhu and her husband are the only residents who have embraced the noisy parrot. Two houses away, the bird pecked away at the wood shingles of the historic home where Robert F. Kennedy was born. The damage was in the thousands, according to David Smith, a carpenter with Halliday Construction.

“The finest materials have to be used, because it's the Brookline Historic District,” Smith said, interrupted by Dino’s screeches as the bird perched atop the roof. “He’s torn up about six courses – that is, rows of shingles on the lower section, and also dug all the way into the roofline.”

Area resident John Harris said he talked to another neighbor who had more extensive damage.

“I don't want any harm to come to the bird,” Harris said, “but I also don't want any damage to come to any of our properties.”

Mark Vogel, a senior rescue technician with the Animal Rescue League of Boston, visited the home where Dino is being fed. He set up traps and tried to coax the bird onto the porch.

“We’re using some of the food that they’ve been feeding him already,” Vogel said. “Plus, we tried a little bit of pasta. Birds have a tendency to like pasta.”

A few miles away, Darrell Williams is desperate to bring Dino home. Williams cares for his niece, Shawna, who has muscular dystrophy and had Dino as a companion for eight years. The bird dances, says a few words and enjoys peanut butter sandwiches. Shawna has been depressed since he flew away from home last summer, Williams said.

“We usually take him out in the summer time,” Williams said. “I took him out of the cage, and he stood up in the cage, and he talked to me for a little while, and I asked him to go back in the cage. And he was about to go back in the cage, and then he said, ‘No,’ and he just took off.”

Vogel left the historic neighborhood on Friday evening without the bird. He is concerned Dino will not be able to survive a cold freeze that is approaching.

“It’s an exotic bird. They’re generally used to warmer temperatures and not necessarily to cold weather, especially what we get up here,” Vogel said. “We just want to get the bird and keep him safe.”