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Parrot speaks a clue to its missing owner: 'Larry'

The African gray is currently under the care of SPCA Tampa Bay’s Melissa Gray (no relation).

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The African gray is currently under the care of SPCA Tampa Bay’s Melissa Gray (no relation).

LARGO — Larry, your parrot misses you. It's calling your name.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay picked it up a week ago. It got a call about a bird strolling the sidewalk along Largo's 109th Street.

For now, the African gray is making a home in a cage on a file cabinet in its lost-and-found office.

We don't know if the bird is a he or a she. You usually have to do a blood test to find out, Melissa Gray, the agency's lost-and-found coordinator, was told.

But she has an idea the parrot's a female. Birds that come to the shelter prefer staffers of the opposite sex, Gray said.

"She doesn't seem to be crazy about me," Gray said.

Tuesday, the bird whistled and squawked "Larry" a few times. It munched on dried fruits and pecked on the cage before climbing onto a perch.

The parrot also says "Charlie" and makes a "pop shhhh" sound when she sees someone drinking, according to a couple of the SPCA's technicians.

Last week, Gray put an ad on craigs­list to find the owner.

One family thought it was theirs, and Gray had hopes because the family was from Bulgaria, and the bird said words that sounded like a different language. But they discovered it wasn't theirs.

If the parrot isn't claimed this month, it will likely be put up for adoption, Gray said. The family that lost their bird has offered to take her in.

Is this your parrot?

If so, you can call Melissa Gray at

(727) 586-3591, ext. 144.

Parrot speaks a clue to its missing owner: 'Larry' 11/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:29pm]

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