A cockatiel has been reunited with his owner, after the RSPCA shared a video of him singing to his rescuer.
Ernie, previously known as Peek-a-boo, had been rescued by the charity when he was found straying in a street in Bolton on 14 November.
After he was assessed to be uninjured, Ernie was relocated to private boarding accommodation. He soon settled in to his temporary home, and enjoyed chatting and singing with the RSPCA foster carer.
Footage of Ernie singing his favourite song, ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’, was shared on social media by the RSPCA.
It was soon seen by Alison Roberts, who recognised him as her own much-loved bird.
Ernie had been in the family for two-and-a-half years, where he quickly developed a bond with the family dog, Lottie.
Ms Roberts revealed that, on the night he went missing, Ernie had been sitting on Lottie’s back. When Lottie then went out into the garden in stormy conditions, Ernie flew away.
Ms Roberts said that she had called for him for several nights after he went missing, in the hope he would fly back into the house. Ernie did not return, leaving Ms Roberts so upset that she had to get rid of his cage.
Due to Ernie’s recognisable singing in the video, the RSPCA were soon able to reunite him with Ms Roberts and Lottie.
Ms Roberts has urged bird owners to report if their bird goes missing, which can increase the chances of them being found.
She 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. 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.
“It was like old times, as we’re used to him just following her around everywhere!”.
The RSPCA recommends that owners ensure their bird is easily identifiable, such as with a microchip or closed ring. It also advocates parrot passports, which can support bird identification if they are lost and found.
RSPCA animal rescue officer Lee Ferrans said: “It was amazing to see the relationship this bird has with the dog. It was clear that they were both so happy to see each other again. Alison was overjoyed and she also made a kind donation to the RSPCA.”
Image © RSPCA