Farmers stunned after finding lost parrot… that started steering their COMBINE HARVESTER

August 21, 2013 | by | 5 Comments

Two farmers who picked up an exotic bird in a field where stunned after it started steering – their COMBINE HARVESTER.

Farm workers Mark Wells and Andrew Barber, both 40, were harvesting wheat when they spotted a flash of bright color.

The pair jumped off their vehicle and were surprised to see a macaw among the stalks, which they assumed must be a lost pet.

The lost macaw found by farmers Mark Wells and Andrew Barber pictured as it started driving their combine harvester

The lost macaw found by farmers Mark Wells and Andrew Barber pictured as it started driving their combine harvester

They lifted the bird back into the cab of their combine and started up the engine.

Mark and Andrew were then amazed when the bird sat on Andrew’s lap and clamped hold of the wheel in his beak – and started steering.

The creature directed the combine all the way across the field and back to the farmers’ truck.

After being so struck with the macaw they nicknamed Rio, Mark decided to take the bird home until its owners can be traced.

Mark’s wife, Georgie Wells, 38, said: “It was amazing. They couldn’t belive it when Rio started steering.

“It’s odd enough to find a bird like that just hopping around a field in England. But to stumble across a bird which can steer a combine harvester is crazy.

The lost parrot is believed to have been a lost pet

The lost parrot is believed to have been a lost pet

“Needless to say we haven’t been able to stop laughing about it. Rio is a naturally operator, maybe he can have a job on the farm?”

Rio was spotted in the evening at around 5pm as Mr Barber and Mr Andrews were finishing up for the day at the farm.

Mark and George, who are contractors working on George E Gittus & Sons farm, said the bird was clearly hungry and dehydrated.

He stayed with the Wells at their home in Horringer, Suffolk, from Friday until Monday – where he was given their SPARE ROOM.

Mark and Georgie, who have two children, then took the exotic bird to a vet to be checked over, then handed him to a specialist breeder in the area who has an aviary.

Mrs Wells said: “Rio was shy at first, but soon began to fly around the house, where he began to repeatedly say ‘hello’ and ‘hi’ to everyone.

“He stayed in the spare room until we could take him to a local parrot handler. In the meantime we fed him treats like banana and peanut butter on toast.”

Farmers Mark and Andrew were packing wheat when they spotted the lost Macaw.

They were stunned when the bird latched his beak onto the wheel and steered the Claas lexion 600 combine harvester for 20 minutes.

Mark said: “Andrew saw Rio before I did and I thought he’d gone mad when he said there was a multicoloured bird in the field.

“The macaw tried to steal the combine harvester.

“He latched onto Andrew’s leg and wouldn’t let go like he was trying to pull him off the combine.

“We picked it up and got him onto the combine harvester with us. We managed to get him off Andrew’s leg and onto his lap.

“He then latched his beak onto the steering wheel and refused to let go for twenty minutes as we drove around the field.

“Andrew took his hands off the steering wheel and let Rio steer us. We were in hysterics and just couldn’t stop laughing.

“Andrew has been saying he wants a hands free for a while – maybe now he’s found it.

“We got to try parrot steering instead of power steering.”

Category: News

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That bird was WEAK and trying to hang on to something, anything to keep from falling over… He wasn’t “driving around” for fun…

  2. Nancy Rattigan says:

    Sorry. I have had 4 Blue and Gold Macaws and there is NO WAY that bird could have steered that piece of equipment. Mine were very smart, and all of mine were large (about 1200 to 1300 grams). I’m very glad they found and adopted the parrot, but the story can’t be legit.

  3. Sharon says:

    Well I never, and you think you have heard it all!
    Could you please pass on details asking them to register with
    http://www.parrotalert.com
    hopefully can find BnG Macaw owner and have them home safe

  4. Jean says:

    why wasn’t his owner looked for? they must be so upset to lose him.

  5. Kev says:

    Yeah right! I’ve got a pet spider that sits on my lap when I drive my HGV, he operates the gearbox and the indicators for me.
    Speaks seven languages as well

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