A5 motorists join rescue attempt after family’s parrot Skittles escapes

The family have had Skittles since he was 8/9 weeks old
The family have had Skittles since he was 8/9 weeks old

The search is on to find a much-loved family parrot, after drivers on the A5 saw the beautiful blue and yellow creature shouting ‘hello’ from a tree.

Ten-month-old baby, Skittles, a blue and gold macaw, escaped on Saturday, March 11, at around 2pm from his home near the ‘Flying Fox roundabout’, spotting an open back door.

Niamh and Skittles love cuddles

Niamh and Skittles love cuddles

Early Sunday evening, the macaw put in his first appearance, when someone from the Hockliffe Village Facebook group alerted owner, Hayley Randall, informing her that drivers on the A5 (between their village and the Flying Fox) had parked up the roadside to try and coax down a parrot from a nearby tree.

Their efforts unsuccessful, Skittles was last spotted in Eggington by a dog walker on Monday at around 3pm.

Hayley said: “We all ran into the garden when we realised Skittles had gone through the back door. He had only ever seen the house ceiling before, so when he was exposed to a gust of wind, he panicked and flew off.

“I heard shortly after five o clock on Sunday that five or six drivers had stopped to help. They had seen something large, blue and yellow in the trees! Skittles was shouting down ‘hello’. He can’t talk properly yet and that’s the only word he can say clearly, otherwise it’s garbled laughter.

“We tried to coax him down and my daughter, Erin, 16, was up a tree trying to reach him, while my other daughter, Niamh, 19, was trying to coax him down from the ground.

“He was trying to edge down the tree, but was not used to roosting, so he was on some very thin branches!

“He flew off in the direction of Heath and Reach.”

Escapee Skittles was next spotted by a dog walker in Eggington on Monday at 3pm.

The lady then informed a local ‘bunny boarding’ lodge, who in turn called Woburn Safari Park, where Niamh works, and the news got back to the family.

Hayley said: “Skittles was reported to have been flying strongly and looking healthy when the lady saw him - he was shouting ‘hello’ at her!

“But he’s quite large, so she didn’t want to pick him up.

“I want to thank the people of Eggington. As soon as I heard the news, I went round knocking on doors, but a few doors in, people were saying they already knew thanks to the village WhatsApp group.

“People’s kindness has restored my faith in humanity.”

Skittles will answer to his name and the best way to pick him up safely is to hold your forearm out to allow him to climb on.

He enjoys grapes, sunflower seeds, apples and parrot pellets.

Hayley said: “Skittles loves cuddles and being tickled under his wing. He’ll sleep under the duvet with my daughter, Niamh.”

Hayley says there is a reward for the person who can reunite them with the escapee parrot.

If you spot Skittles, please call Hayley on: 07422 690007.

Hayley and her partner, David Sutton, would like to thank both the Hockliffe and Eggington villagers, Woburn Safari Park, John and Jayne and of Nutwood Bunnies, local farmers, and anyone else who has helped them to look for Skittles.