ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A local family is searching for a missing pet bird who flew away Sunday afternoon and was last seen traveling west on Gandy Boulevard.
Ray Matlack, Tiki's bird dad, says the family sometimes takes the bird to the store. But this time, when perched on Matlack's wife's shoulder, Tiki was spooked by something and flew off.
He reportedly circled the family's condo before a group of birds attacked him and chased him off. He was last seen flying west on Gandy, toward 4th Street.
This is the first time Tiki has ever gotten out, and the family is asking for the community's help with finding him.
"We all miss Tiki terribly," Matlack said in a statement. "He is absolutely adored in our house and is a cherished family member. We would do anything to get him home safely."
Tiki has been part of the local family for about 18 months now.
"He was hand fed as a hatchling, so he is very much our baby," Matlack explained.
According to Matlack, Tiki is a bit of a comedian, rolling around on the floor like a cat or dog and making willy raptor noises.
He earned a few nicknames in the household to fit his silly personality, like Freaky Tiki, Tiki Freakerson and Football.
"He spends most of his day tucked in someone's arm like a football or lying on his back in someone's lap – demanding scritches and cuddles," the bird dad explained. "He is standing on our head if he's not in someone's lap."
Anyone who finds Tiki, Matlack says they should contact them immediately. People can try to call or whistle for him if they're familiar with bigger birds.
While he's a friendly bird, he could bite if he gets scared.
"He might be more inclined to come to you if you have treats," Matlack said. "He loves, LOVES cashews and peanuts in the shell. He also loves apples and bananas, but nuts are his favorite."
Once found, Matlack is hoping Tiki will remember his family and come to them. If not, they will put his cage out with food in the area he was spotted in and hope for the best.
If you are on the lookout, he is a unique-looking bird for the area, Matlack explains.
Tiki has a red feather "cap" on his head and is mostly bright green, but he has red/orange on his shoulders and orange under his wings. His tail is about two times longer than his body.
For anyone who believes they found the bird, contact the family at 727-492-0733.