Parrot makes video call to owner, concluding four-day South Coast adventure

Port Lincoln parrot Morton ventured across the ocean to Eden twice from Boydtown while on a four-day adventure after escaping his cage. Photo supplied
Port Lincoln parrot Morton ventured across the ocean to Eden twice from Boydtown while on a four-day adventure after escaping his cage. Photo supplied

In years long gone, lost pets were often found by sticking hand-drawn signs on power poles and telephone boxes - but not so in this digital age.

Last weekend, scores of Far South Coast locals tracked the impressive journey of a resident-turned-nomadic Port Lincoln parrot named Morton via social media, as his owners desperately tried to find him and bring him home.

Felicity and Peter Fletcher said Morton was absent from their Boydtown property for four days and they had kept tabs on his status via Facebook, with many residents snapping pictures of him and uploading them to local group pages.

Morton's species is quite gregarious and active during the day, and depending on the conditions can be either resident or nomadic.

Owner Felicity said Morton is a real character, often wolf whistling, or "ringing the phone".

"We got Morton as a rescue bird about two years ago, he had been hand-raised and we thought maybe he'd match up with our birds," she said.

Morton visiting the caravan park at Boydtown. Photo supplied

Morton visiting the caravan park at Boydtown. Photo supplied

"But it didn't really work out very well with his wife, they didn't bond and we had to put him out in another aviary.

"He was very sneaky at feeding time and flew straight out of his cage, then hung around a while before taking off.

"He is a little bugger, he's not really that friendly, we were worried he might bite whoever tried to catch him.

"It's pretty amazing the journey he's been on, venturing across the ocean twice to town," Felicity said with a laugh.

Morton's last hurrah on Shirley Mitchell's verandah in Eden. Photo supplied

Morton's last hurrah on Shirley Mitchell's verandah in Eden. Photo supplied

First news of Morton came when a person at coastal patrol in Eden took a photo of him visiting there.

The couple decided to put up a post on Facebook after the first sighting, to let people know he was AWOL.

Next Morton was spotted on the main street on a plumber's car, then on to Eden Child Care Centre to see the kids.

Morton graduated to Eden Marine High School next, before taking some time out at one of the local caravan parks, announcing his arrival by talking to a lady through a window.

Amazingly, the next stop for the adventurous parrot was back out at Boydtown, where a friend of the Fletchers spotted him and made contact to ask if it was the evasive parrot.

"We thought 'he's pretty close to home now, he'll just come home'," Felicity said.

Back behind bars again. Photo supplied

Back behind bars again. Photo supplied

But Morton continued on to Brandy Creek where he was sighted once again, and another night passed.

"The next morning I was at work, and I got a message from Shirley Mitchell on Bay St in town to let me know Morton had come and landed on her coffee cup while she was sitting on her verandah," Felicity said.

"He jumped on to her lap and pressed the phone and Facetimed me, it was all pretty funny!

"I asked Shirley to give him some fruit to try and keep him there, but he was quite happy with her coffee.

"Hubby went over and sat on the verandah with them and captured him pretty easily.

"It was pretty amazing for a caged, hand-raised little bird to survive all of that.

"The fact he went to Eden and back twice over those days. We honestly didn't think we would see him again," she said.

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