Solo adventure for Heysham parrot found miles from home

Tracy Bartlett after being reunited with George
Tracy Bartlett after being reunited with George

A family’s pet parrot spent 48 hours in the wilderness and was “bullied by seagulls” after flying 11 miles from Heysham to the slopes of Warton Crag.

Seven-year-old African Grey parrot George escaped from his cage last Monday, June 6 at around 7pm, after figuring out how to unlock the door latch.

Cartoon by Jack Knight following social media search for missing parrot.

Cartoon by Jack Knight following social media search for missing parrot.

His owner Tracy Bartlett, who lives in Mossgate, said she went outside to feed her cat and saw George escaping overhead.

She said: “The next thing I know he’s hurtling down the street shrieking like a mad woman. We spent the next few hours searching the local area.

“He’s really good at mimicking other birds, especially crows, and every time I heard a crow I thought it was him.

“For the next few days we went everywhere searching for him, but it was the power of social media that got the result in the end.”

Tracy, who works at the new Home Bargains in Morecambe’s Arndale Centre, was at work when she saw a post on social media.

“There was another parrot found in Blackburn, and everyone thought it was George. But then a local lad named Jack posted a picture of George on Facebook from Warton Crag. He said he was well off the beaten track and it was completely by chance that he saw him. Then even more bizarrely, a lady called Kate got in touch and said she’d take my two sons there to pick him up.

“Kate turned out to be George’s previous owner.

“It’s such a long way for a domestic bird to fly.

“The only thing I can think of is that he flew along the coast and ended up on the crag. Josh took my sons Joe and Hugh up to where he saw him, and there he was. George stuck his foot up as if to say pick me up. He was dehydrated and he got sunburn, and I think he may have been bullied by seagulls or large birds, as he now seems skittish when they fly over the house.”

George was reunited with his family later that day, on Wednesday, June 8.

“It’s the power of social media, and It’s been amazing that so many people have offered help. People have stuck their heads out of windows and shouted ‘are you looking for George?’. Everyone that I know pulled together and worked it out.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their help in finding him.”