Rachel Murray, 38, is offering a $200 reward for the safe return of her talkative missing grey cockatiel with a yellow and grey head who wolf whistles at people, imitates ringing telephones and sings the theme song to “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Chances are he wasn’t inspired by a popular Lynyrd Skynyrd song or a Maya Angelou poem when he became a free bird Friday, July 19, and it wasn’t a bird brain move on his part. Rollo flew away because he was frightened.
“I took him with me to housesit/babysit for a couple who had gone out of town,” said Murray, a 6th and 7th grade science teacher at Powell Middle School, who has a daughter, Riley, 8. “As I was taking his cage out of the car, the bottom fell out. It scared him, and he flew away.”
Murray heard Rollo the following morning and evening, but couldn’t get him to come down from the trees. Sunday morning was the last time she saw Rollo, a bird she purchased 12 years ago at at Briarwood Pet Shop and Kennels on Old Canton Road.
Rollo’s body is mostly grey with white spots on his wings and orange cheeks. He’s sociable, friendly and loves humans. In addition to singing TV theme songs, he can imitate a bobwhite, the oven, laughter and say phrases like “pretty bird,” “What are you doing,” “Hey sweetie” and “I gotta go bye-bye.”
“He loves socks, feet, shoes and closets,” said Murray. “I’ve never understood just why.”
He’s also a fan of popcorn, chips, cooked spaghetti noodles and good, old-fashioned corn-on-the-cob.
“It’s awful,” said Murray. “I’m very worried about him. I spend a lot of time searching the surrounding areas, handing out flyers, and putting up posters, and I’ve learned that I’m not as alone as I first thought. There are many resources for pet bird owners in the same situation.
“Sometimes it takes months, or even years, but birds are reunited with
owners. A lot of other people find pet birds and don’t know where to even begin to look for an owner, so they keep them. I do have hope, and it keeps me focused on doing all I can on my end to bring him back.”
Murray said her neighbors have been helpful and understanding.
“I’d love to have him back safe and sound with me,” she said. “I’m not certain how realistic that is, but because he is such a strong part of my life, as any pet should be to any person, I miss him desperately and feel terribly responsible to get him safe, at the very least. I am sick with worry and regret, and I know that he is very scared.”
Murray said she also wants to spread awareness about ways to find lost birds.
“There are many places that specialize in reuniting birds and their families,” she said. “Before all this happened, I know I wasn’t aware there was such a broad support system. From what I have seen, birds get away accidentally from their families nearly every day.”
Some sites designed to help reunite owners with their feathered friends are 911parrotalert.com, birdhotline.com and cockatielcottage.net/lost.html.
Daugher Riley Murray also misses Rollo.
“I feel so sad that he’s gone, and I want him to come home so bad,” she said.
Rachel’s mother, Tempy Murray, is keeping the faith.
“If God’s eye is on the sparrow, he can send one confused cockatiel home,” she said.
If you spot Rollo, you can contact Murray at (601) 759-0036 or e-mail Rachel.Murray.email@example.com. Remember, there’s $200 offered for his safe return.
You can also read more on Rollo’s website www.rollocomehome.webs.com.