Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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).


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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.