A PLUCKY parrot that “terrorised” its owners and dive-bombed guests has made a bid for freedom, sparking a search operation to find the angry bird.
Owner David Campbell, 63, said his beloved African Grey flew out of the back door after he opened his cage three weeks ago.
The Corstorphine resident, who said he was inconsolable about the loss of his pet, had expected the parrot to merrily perch on his shoulder before it soared over his head and into the autumn air.
After a fruitless search involving friends and neighbours, Mr Campbell has now stumped up a £500 reward for the safe return of his parrot, called Special.
A series of posters have been fixed to lampposts in the area urging residents to report any sightings.
“I have a great bond with him and I am still looking for him – he was the love of my life,” said Mr Campbell. “I really miss him and I’m just trying to hold myself together.”
But despite the close bond with his owner, the three-year-old pet was renowned for his combative personality – frequently attacking Mr Campbell’s two grown-up sons when they came to pay a visit.
And it would even bite the hand that feeds him.
“He was a rogue from day one. He would also bite and terrorise the whole house and anyone else who came into the house,” said Mr Campbell.
“He bit me three times the week before he left and he has drawn blood. He was very much a delinquent but he had a lot of character.”
There have been several suspected sightings but it is feared these may have been pigeons which share a similar grey plumage.
Special was a vocal parrot with the phrases “Where’s my breakfast?” and “Hiya David” among his frequent utterings.
Mr Campbell, who works as a chauffeur, said it took three years to name his parrot because they didn’t know what to call him.
“When I used to come in he used to say ‘Hello special’ and that’s how he got his name,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn, of the Scottish SPCA, said the domestic pet stands a strong chance of survival if he can find suitable shelter.
He said: “As long as the parrot has access to shelter, the cold weather alone is not his biggest threat. The greatest risk will be wild birds which may attack him or a lack of food.
“Locals can leave food out for this parrot to help him through the winter and if he is spotted perched in a tree it may be possible to coax him down with some fruit or veg.”
Sarah Linehan, a pet behaviour counsellor, said the bird could brave the Scottish outdoors but its life chances would improve if he has been taken in.
She said: “He won’t have a huge amount of survival skills and could be picked off by birds of prey, or even by a magpie or a crow.
“There is an outside chance he could survive if someone has found him and taken him in.”