A pet cockatiel who loves breaking out into song has reunited with his owner and the “love of his life”, the family dog, after vanishing from his home in stormy weather in Greater Manchester.
Ernie the parrot’s first reaction upon returning home was to shower the family’s dog, Lottie, with love as they had struck a long-standing, deep friendship.
Owner Alison Roberts said: “It’s an absolute miracle we’ve got him back as I thought something had happened to him and we wouldn’t see him again, it was so upsetting when he went.
“Now he’s back with the love of his life, Lottie.”
Ernie was glad to be back with at her home in Great Lever, Bolton, after vanishing in a storm last November.
He survived uninjured in the wild before he was picked up by a member of the public near a bench in the Kearsley area.
Over Christmas and the new year, he was cared for by one of the RSPCA’s foster carers, who captured the parrot singing on video.
Her footage showing Ernie singing his favourite song – If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands – was spotted by Ms Roberts on social media and the RSPCA was able to reunite her with her beloved bird.
Ernie was delighted to be reunited with his best friend, the family dog.
“As soon as he saw her he reacted. I let him out of his cage and he was sitting on her back and riding around,” Ms Roberts said.
“It was like old times as we’re used to him just following her around everywhere.
“On the night we lost him, Lottie was in the kitchen waiting to go out for a wee and I didn’t see Ernie was on her back as the dog was underneath the table.
“I was calling for him in the nights, in the days after in the hope he’d fly back in.
“When I saw the video I knew straight away it was him.
“I’ve bought a new cage for him as I was so upset when he disappeared that I got rid of his old one – I couldn’t bear to have it in the lounge as it was so heart-breaking.
“He’s such a loving and attentive bird. He comes out of his cage at night and we spend time interacting with him and treating him as one of the family.
“It was the first time we’ve had a bird as a pet and we don’t regret it as Ernie’s got such a great personality.
“I can’t thank the RSPCA enough for getting him back to me and the person who found him.”