A 2ft-long macaw who was spotted wandering along a road in Hounslow, London hitched a lift with a motorist who stopped after being concerned for her welfare.

annieParesh Jani of Hounslow was driving down the road on Friday (September 1)  when he saw the large macaw on the road and a number of people gathered around her.

Concerned that she might not be able to fly he stopped and surprisingly she headed towards his car when he opened the back door.

Seeing that she didn’t seem afraid of the car he decided to pick her up and pop her in the vehicle, before driving back to his home which was nearby.

He called the RSPCA who advised he popped her details on the Pets Located and arrangements were made to collect the blue-and-gold macaw the next day.

Mr Jani said he used a cage he had for his German Shepherd, and popped the parrot in there for the night.

He said: “It was actually a real pleasure to have her overnight and very exciting for the family. The macaw seemed to really like our company and would get upset every time we left her, although she did sleep when we did.”

RSPCA animal collection officer Prisca Giddens visited Mr Jani the next day to collect the macaw, she said: “I arrived with a box in my hand and Mr Jani, told me I’d need a bigger box! She’s very big. I took her to the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital, in the hope that owner would come forward. She did have a ring, but the details had worn away.

“Luckily the owner spotted her details on Pets Located and found out from Mr Jani that she was in our care. So he came down to collect her.

“She’s a lovely bird and and clearly a much-loved pet so we are thrilled that she has been able to be reunited with her owner.”

The macaw’s owner Sam, collected 10-year-old Annie from the RSPCA and took her home. He said that she had gone missing after flying away when she was outside having an explore.

Sam said he had been outside hoovering his car while Annie was exploring but she climbed up to the satellite dish and then on to the roof and became spooked and flew off.

annie2Sam, his daughter Aisha and granddaughter Safiyah, who was with him at the time, desperately searched the neighbourhood for her but to no avail.  But the next day he saw the post Mr Jani had made about finding her, and so rushed round and found out she had been taken to the RSPCA.

He said: “I am so grateful to everyone who helped get Annie home to me and especially the gentleman who found her and took her home and kept her safe. We went round the next day again to say thank you with a box of chocolates.

“I’ve had Annie for six years and she’s a real character and she’s very, very attached to me. She follows me everywhere and she enjoys going out for walks with me and also trips in the car, which is why she didn’t mind going in the car of Mr Jani, lucky for us she did.”

Over the past five years, RSPCA officers have rescued 2,052 stray psittacines (birds that belong to the parrot family including macaws and parakeets). In 2016 alone, the RSPCA collected 413 strays. Unfortunately we often find it extremely difficult to reunite these birds with their owners as many are not microchipped or ringed.  The RSPCA strongly recommends that owners take steps to make sure their pet bird can be positively identified, with a microchip fitted by an avian vet, or closed ring.

The RSPCA 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.  In addition we also recommend reporting any lost, found or stolen pet birds to the National Theft Register.

The RSPCA recommends that captive birds are housed in an aviary where possible but, if kept in a cage, it is essential that bird owners allow opportunity for free flight daily by providing time outside the cage to carry out this natural behaviour. Anyone letting a parrot have free flight within a house should ensure windows and doors are secured first, to prevent accidental escape.

Anyone interested in rehoming a rescued bird from the RSPCA can visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.