A crisps-obsessed parrot who was so overweight that she used to drop to the ground when she tried to fly has slimmed down after her new owners put her on a strict diet.
Amazon green parrot Bud was said to be able to detect a packet of crisps being opened from four miles away, according to Chloe Shorten, who adopted the 22-year-old bird last year.
She said she banned crisps from their house and Bud’s weight soon came down from 1lb 6oz (620g) to a healthy 14oz (400g).
Bud arrived at the RSPCA’s Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk branch in March last year when her previous owners could no longer take care of her.
Mrs Shorten, 27, who works at the branch, and her husband Jason initially fostered Bud once lockdown hit, and then decided to give her a permanent home with them in Norfolk.
“Bud arrived just a few days before lockdown hit as she’d become too much for her owners and they could no longer take care of her,” said animal welfare manager Mrs Shorten.
“Parrots are incredibly intelligent birds and need quite specialist care – and we certainly had our hands full when she arrived!
“She was also extremely overweight, weighing in at a hefty 620g – more than 200g heavier than she should have been.
“While it’s tricky to tell from looking when a parrot is overweight, you could tell when she tried to fly – she would literally drop to the floor.
“She has the hearing of a bat and can detect a packet of crisps being opened from four miles away so it’s no surprise she was overweight.
“Crisps were strictly banned from our house so she couldn’t get hold of any!
“But, thankfully, she quickly lost the weight and she’s now much happier as a result.
“She’s loving life and can fly again. It’s great to see her soaring around the house.”
Bud is “really chatty” and welcomes people to the room with a loud “Hellooooo”, Mrs Shorten said.
“She is such a funny character and she brightens our days, particularly during this difficult time as she loves to sing.
“She loves my husband and likes to serenade him with her rendition of the Addams Family theme tune!
“She likes to confuse any delivery drivers or neighbours who come to the front door by shouting ‘Bye!’ halfway through the conversation. I’m sure they must think we have a really rude child or relative inside trying to get rid of them.
“She likes to make an appearance on video calls, which always surprises people, and she also sometimes wolf-whistles at people so that can take some explaining when I’m on a work call!
“She’s learned how to laugh and often chuckles when my husband bangs his head or if someone says something funny; it’s amazing how she can react as if on cue.”
Mrs Shorten, who also has three dogs and three cats, went on: “Parrots aren’t for the faint-hearted.
“They’re a lot of work and live for a long time so it’s incredibly important that people do their research before taking one on.
“They are, however, great fun and incredibly rewarding.
“We feel very lucky that we can give her a forever home and we’ll hopefully have many more years with her and her hilarious antics.”