BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A bright yellow parakeet that went missing returned home Tuesday night after a family’s 11-day search for the little bird.
Lemi, an almost 2-year-old bird, journeyed from Brooklyn Heights to the Manhattan Bridge and finally Prospect Heights, where she was found and kept safe by Good Samaritans since last week.
Little Lemi flew away on May 9 around 1 p.m., said Anette Somosi, who owns the family bird, first reported by the Brooklyn Heights Blog.
Somosi was leaving the apartment that afternoon when Lemi quietly jumped onto her back and clung onto her sweater.
When Somosi got to the ground floor, Lemi flew out of an open window.
“It was devastating for me,” Somosi said.
Lemi, a playful bird, was a birthday gift for Somosi’s 8-year-old daughter Monica, who was seven at the time.
“She’s just… the friendliest happiest little bird,” said Somosi, who has lived with her family in Brooklyn Heights since 2007 and has no other pets.
After Lemi went missing, Somosi posted fliers throughout the neighborhood with a picture of their feathered friend. While there had been a handful of sightings that weekend, the family heard nothing after. Somosi said she had almost lost hope.
But social media prevailed. A woman in the neighborhood shared an Instagram picture of Somosi’s flier with Lemi’s photo on it and user saw the photo matched it to a picture of a similar-looking bird near the Manhattan Bridge’s entrance.
The chances of the bird being Lemi “would be very strange” but the coincidence spurred Somosi to ramp up her search, which led her to a website called 911parrotalert.com, she said.
On the site, she saw a listing from Prospect Heights — a small yellow parrot had been found.
Somosi said she called the number in the listing and a woman confirmed she had found the bird.
But the Good Samaritan, skeptical because another man had tried to claim Lemi, asked Somosi for the number on the tag around the parakeet’s leg.
Luckily, Somosi had the number written down and repeated it.
“And she said, ‘Oh my God, it’s the same bird,” Somosi said.
Lemi’s rescuers found her at Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place sitting next to a sparrow — more than two miles from Brooklyn Heights on May 12.
“She must have been everywhere,” Somosi said.
Somosi kept the hopeful news from her daughter and went with a neighbor to the Prospect Heights home on May 20.
“It was [Lemi],” she said. “It was totally fantastic.”
A little dirty and a little thinner, Lemi was brought back to her Brooklyn Heights home and reunited with Somosi’s daughter.
Lemi’s 11-day journey ended happily and Somosi credits the parakeet’s return to luck, thoughtful Brooklynites and social media.
“I’m going to get Instagram now because that was very helpful to me,” she said.