Britain’s ‘oldest’ parakeet is still going strong at a whopping 34 years old – despite only having one eye and being too frail to FLY.
One-eyed Sneaky Beaky is also not strong enough to sleep on his perch, but owner Julia Whitehead reckons he’s the best 21st birthday present she got – because she’s almost 55 now.
Julia reckons her long-lived bird may well be the oldest in Britain, as parakeets usually live only about 20 years, and while Sneaky Beaky still has his gorgeous green feathers – she does think he may have dementia.
She said she was living in Scotland at the time, while her husband Lynn worked on gas and oil pipelines.
The couple wanted a pet, but felt a dog would be too much hassle given their peripatetic lifestyle, and instead plumped for the African ring-necked parakeet.
Julie said: “He was very young and because he was hiding behind the two, I chose him.
“A few years ago he went blind in one eye and broke a wing one day when he tried to land on the back of the settee.
“Because of his age, he now sleeps on a horizontal ladder in his cage, which is safer for him as he can sometimes fall off his perch.
“He has also forgotten how to talk, it’s like a dementia thing.
“He used to sing, say hello and goodbye, and if I asked him for a song he would reply, ‘nice peanut for Beaky, something nice for Beaky’, and we would have to give him something before he would sing.
“I absolutely love him and he still can sit on my arm and have a bit of fruit. He likes bananas and apples and loves a bit of cheese.”
Julie hopes her veteran pet might be a record-breaker.
She said: “I’ve got my fingers crossed he’s the oldest parakeet in Britain.”
African and Indian ring-neck parakeets in captivity can live to be 20 to 30 – but there are some reports of ring-necks living up to 50 years in America.
A spokesman for the Guinness Book of Records said: “There is no alive record, so the owners would need to apply and submit the evidence for their parakeet.”
By Taylor Geall