Singing parrot reunited with dog 'bestie' after disappearing from family home in Bolton

Peek-a-boo's favourite song to sing is 'If you're happy and you know it clap your hands'.

A cockatiel, who loves to sing, has been reunited with his owner and his ‘bestie’ - a cockapoo cross dog, after going missing from his home.

Ernie vanished from his home in Great Lever, Bolton, leaving his owner Alison 'heartbroken'.

The chatty parrot was found straying in a Greater Manchester street in November, but thanks to a social media appeal of Ernie singing his favourite song, 'happy and you know it, clap your hands', they were reunited.

Watch the hilarious rendition of Ernie 'singing' "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."

But while Ernie was glad to be back with owner Alison Roberts, his first target of love and attention was the family’s dog, Lottie, whom he has struck a long-standing friendship with.

Ernie the cockatiel reunited with his best friend, dog Lottie Credit: RSPCA

Amazingly, despite vanishing from his home in stormy weather, Ernie 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 his tuneful renditions on a phone video. 

Her footage of Ernie singing his favourite song “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” was spotted by Alison on a local media Facebook post - and the RSPCA was able to reunite her with her much-loved bird.

Ernie loves to stand on Lottie's back and ride around

“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,” admitted Alison.

“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!

“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.

"We’ve had him for two-and-a-half years, 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.

Ernie the singing cockatiel was reunited with his owners after they saw a social media appeal video of him singing Credit: RSPCA

“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 heartbreaking.

“I can’t thank the RSPCA enough for getting him back to me and the person who found him.

"At the time I didn’t report it, but it’s clear that more people should report birds going missing as this just shows how they can be found and reunited with their owners.”

The RSPCA advises owners whose pets go missing, in the first instance, to make contact with local vet surgeries, animal hospitals and rehoming centres.

"If they are microchipped then people should report them missing to the database and they can also make a report on Animal Search UK.

"Social media, including local Facebook groups, as in this case, are also worth looking through when appealing for help to find your pet.

"The RSPCA urges people to take steps to make sure their pet bird can be positively identified, with a microchip or closed ring.  

"The charity advocates the use of a parrot passport, which will facilitate identification of a bird, should it ever be lost and found.

"The passport also contains advice for new owners to help keep their birds safe and secure.  

Ernie had been named 'Peek-a-boo' in the RSPCA social media video Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA animal rescue officers Helen Chapman and Lee Ferrans organised Ernie’s foster care after he was found and his transportation back home to Bolton.

Lee said: “It was a really happy sight to see when I brought him into the family’s home in his cage.

"Lottie's tail was wagging and her nose was right up against Ernie’s cage, while he was dancing side to side frantically, chirping away and touching noses with Lottie.

“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.” 

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