A beloved pet cockatiel has been safely returned home following an epic journey spanning more than 60 kilometres from Auckland to the Coromandel.
Keith the cockatiel had never been outside before when owner Peter Champion walked outside his home in Forrest Hill, on Auckland's North Shore, with the small parrot still perched on his shoulder on December 23.
"He made a startled squawk and flew up about 80 feet in the air," Champion told NZ Herald. "I called him, he was straight above me. He hesitated, then kept going."
Champion quickly took to social media to find the bird believing he couldn't have gotten far.
He was found three days later, on Boxing Day, when he landed on the ute of an Auckland couple holidaying at a Coromandel Peninsula campground.
"Keith is safely home after escaping and flying from Forrest Hill North Shore to Colville (About 40 km's) on the Coromandel peninsula," Champion said yesterday in a Facebook post.
Champion thanked "everyone who shared posts and did lots of detective work to find him" and "Kyle and Amy who grabbed him at Colville and spoilt him rotten for a few days".