Houdini Hector, the parrot with an eye for the birds

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Michelle and Wayne James with Hector, aka Houdini.At the tender age of 10, Hector James has become quite the Houdini.

The youngster from Rothbury has flown the coop twice, been missing for several days at a time, travelling almost 30 kilometres in his quests to find a new love.

Hector is an Alexandrine parrot and is making a habit of scaring the life out of his parents Wayne and Michelle.

Now affectionately known as Houdini Hector, the bird has escaped twice in one year, both times returned to his owners after they had well and truly kissed him goodbye.

While Hector has a partner, Mindy, at home, this particular breed of parrot does not mate for life and often looks for new love.

Mr and Mrs James have had Hector and hand-raised him from seven weeks of age.

They took in Mindy as a rehome when she was four.

Last year Hector escaped from his cage after the door on one of his feed bowls had not been fastened properly.

Mindy also escaped but returned on the second day.

With Hector still at large, Mrs James posted pictures on the Facebook page Pets Lost and Found in the Hunter.

Hector had flown about 12 kilometres to Greta, where he spotted a woman about to hang out her washing and landed on her shoulder.

“She got quite a fright due to Hector’s big beak, but the woman soon realised he was tame and took him into a shed,” Mrs James said.

“They posted a ‘found’ advert somewhere, (not on Facebook). Pets Lost and Found watch all differentbulletin boards and were able to marry up the two posts so we got him back on day three.

“I was so relieved,” Mrs James said.

Last week Mr James brushed past Hector’s cage and believes he disengaged the lock.

Again Hector absconded leaving Mrs James in tears.

“By the third day I was beside myself with worry thinking of all the terrible possibilities, cats, dogs, cars, even the cold weather,” she said.

But thanks to a woman 17 kilometres away at Nulkaba, Hector found sanctuary.

“A fantastic lady named Danielle Walters looked up all the lost pet sites and found our post on Lost Pets Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Surrounds.

“I was crying with relief when I was talking to her,” Mrs James said.

“All these sites are run by volunteers and they do a fantastic job day after day trying to match lost and found posts.

“They also pick up pets and take them to vets for microchip reading. Others foster lost animals.

“They are very special people and I want to thank them all, especially Mrs Walters and her two lovely girls who realised Hector was very loved by somebody.”

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