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Caique Stolen at Omars

News: Man tries to make off with $1,300 bird | customers, sklar, bird, birds, shop -

Video: Man tries to make off with $1,300 bird
Surveillance video shows a man putting a black headed Caique inside his jacket, and the bird crawling out before being chased down by customers and employees.

The Orange County Register
Comments 28 | Recommend 6


LAKE FOREST Even with clipped wings, the costly bird refused to go with its alleged birdnapper.

A 35-year-old man tried to stuff a $1,300 bird into his jacket from Omar's Exotic Birds and then ran out of the pet shop Sunday afternoon, but the brightly colored bird wiggled out of the jacket, alerting customers and employees of the theft.

Customers ran out and held down James Leland Loper until deputies arrived and took him into custody on suspicion of grand theft, said Lt. Fred Furey of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Surveillance video shows the man playing with the birds, which roam freely on perches or sit inside glass enclosures that are open at the top, said Danielle Sklar, assistant manager of the pet shop.
An employee approached Loper and asked him if he needed help, but he said he was just looking, Sklar said. For about 30 minutes he interacted with the birds in the store like the rest of the customers.

Then, after looking around for people around him, the suspect shuffled the black headed Caique inside his jacket and walked out.

"Somebody just saw a bird coming out of his shirt," Sklar said. "It didn't want to stay put."

A group of customers and employees ran after him as he hurried across El Toro Road. One of the customers tackled him and held him until deputies arrived.

Customers are allowed to interact with the birds inside the pet shop, but several visible cameras hang on the ceiling to deter any possible shoplifters, Sklar said. Thefts in the shop are rare, but surveillance video catches those that try to make off with the merchandise.

The store will perches and displays as they are, with customers having free access to the animals, Sklar said. This helps the customers find a bird whose personality meets their own.

The black headed Caique, a parrot with green wings, yellow neck and a black head which is native to South America, was recovered and is back in the store, waiting for an owner willing to pay for it. The price tag is $1,300.

Update- caique mutation

I managed to track down the original person that first posted the picture of the supposed blue mutation caique. Unfortunately the person has been unwilling to talk, other then to say that they had recieved permission from the owner to post the picture, but further information regarding this bird is, in a word- taboo. Very unfortunate as we can not really confirm or deny this mutation at this point, not knowing where the bird originated from, who bred it, etc etc etc. Pity, as this could be extremely useful knowledge to have down the line in regards to caique genetics, mutations, etc etc etc.
People, if you have information, don't be frugal. Share it. Aviculture is in its infancy and growing every day, and if everyone hoarded all their bits of knowledge, our community would be shattered. Its not the people who suffer, its the birds.
John McMichael of has commented on the possibility of the blue caique mutation, and believes that it is possible, and sites the 'orange tint' on the nape as being a result of different pigmentation on the bird.
As such, there is no further information yielded about this bird at this time. Such a waste- there is such potential for caiques and enthusiasts to learn more about this intricate species.

Its almost October....

already, can you believe it? This year has just flown by!
With the coming of October I am proud to announce that the new issue of Good Bird Magazine ( is out, and in it, an article written by moi! It is titled Learning From Mercy. If anyone gets the magazine, I'd love your feedback. I just learned about the publishing of it today, so am eager to see my copy. I don't know how much or what part of the original I sent in, so I am anxious to see how it turned out!

Everyone enjoy your transition into October!