A ST ANDREWS sailor found himself with a bird in the hand after coming to the rescue of a distressed cockatiel.
And now the Scottish SPCA is seeking the owner of the adventurous bird which was plucked out of the North Sea by David Ingram, of St Andrews Sailing Club.
David moved quickly to the rescue after spotting the distressed cockatiel flapping around in the water near the club’s premises at the East Sands on Sunday, September 30.
He scooped the exhausted creature out of the sea and put him in his boat before taking him ashore and contacting the SSPCA for help.
David’s wife, Mary, dried the bird and kept him warm in a cardboard box until the charity arrived.
Nicknamed ‘‘Captain,’’ the cockatiel is now recovering from his ordeal at the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Balerno.
Animal Rescue Officer Kieran Smart said: “Captain is very lucky to be alive.
‘‘If it wasn’t for Mr and Mrs Ingram’s help, we’ve no doubt he would have perished at sea.
“His feathers were completely water-logged, making it impossible for him to take flight, but the Ingrams took him home and kept him warm and he’s now recovering in our care.
“Captain has a small wound on his chest suggesting he may have been attacked by other birds and he is still very quiet. This frightening incident will have caused him a lot of stress but we’re hopeful he’ll make a full recovery.
“He’s a very attractive little bird and we’re sure someone must be missing him.
‘‘It would be lovely to reunite him with his owner but if no-one comes forward to claim Captain we’ll be looking for a loving new home.”
Anyone who recognises Captain the cockatiel is being asked to call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.