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Searching for Sweetheart: Waterloo woman asks for community’s help in finding missing bird


A Waterloo woman is heartbroken that her cockatiel – named Sweetheart – has gone missing.

Now she’s hoping the public can help her find him.

Sonya Mahnke could be called the Snow White of Waterloo. Her home is like a scene out of a fairy tale, surrounded by all her birds.

Then last week, Mahnke’s fiancé walked outside without realizing Sweetheart was on his shoulder.

That caught Sweetheart by surprise.

“The winds were strong, so every time he would fly towards me, the winds would push him back further and further,” said Mahnke. “He was actually crying out for me. It was really, really heartbreaking.”

“They could be a little disoriented, trying to get their bearings,” explained Calla James, with the Humane Society of Kitchener-Waterloo and Stratford-Perth.

Mahnke chased after Sweetheart until she couldn’t see the cockatiel anymore.

Now she’s asking the community to help with her search for Sweetheart.

Sonya Mahnke's pet cockatiel Sweetheart. (Courtesy: Sonya Mahnke)

“I’ve reached out to the Humane Society, KW Ground Search & Rescue, the Laurelwood group and some bird rescue places,” said Mahnke.

Her other birds are also feeling Sweetheart’s absence.

“The noise that they’re making is their flock call,” said Mahnke.

The bird taking it the hardest might be Sweetheart’s girlfriend, named Baby.

“In the morning, again today, she was calling for him,” explained Mahnke. “So that’s hard.”

Her hope for Sweetheart’s return is diminishing as each day passes.

“It being so cold, I worry about him freezing to death,” she said, beginning to cry. “If he has passed, I would still want him. I just want to see him and be able to bury him. That would mean a lot to me.”

Sweetheart can be identified by the heart-shaped markings on his wings.

“When birds bond, they bond for life,” explained Mahnke. “It’s really sweet and kind of romantic.”

She’s hoping to bring the two love birds together again so they can live happily ever after. Top Stories

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