Maggie, the perceptive parrot, saw her big chance.
Owner Joe Byers inexplicably left the door unlocked after he had been cleaning out her cage.
And quicker than the pensioner could say “pretty polly”, Maggie nudged it open and winged her way to freedom.
Now devastated Joe is desperate to get his pet and companion back.
And he has even enlisted the help of pupils and staff at New Abbey primary in his unrelenting search for the 15-year-old African grey who talks and whistles.
But time would appear to be running out for the flyaway bird who has now been missing for some 10 days.
Joe, who lives in New Abbey, said: “It is only me and her and she keeps me company.
“I have had her for several years and she is a member of the family.”
Joe cleans Maggie’s cage, outside his home, every day and the retired rail man just cannot understand why he did not shut the door properly.
“I clean out her cage twice a day, outside, and I had taken the base off but for some reason I had forgotten to put the clip back on the cage door,” he said.
“I don’t know why I didn’t but for some reason I forgot.
“They are very intelligent birds and she must have noticed and pushed it open with her beak.”
So far there have been no sightings of the parrot and several searches with friends have found nothing.
“We have been whistling down a megaphone to try and get her attention,” Joe added.
“Maggie whistles and talks and usually will answer if she can hear whistling.
“I was a bit worried over the weekend with the snow but it only lasted for one night.
“She should be ok if she is roosting somewhere dry or is getting food off a bird table but I would really like to get her back now.”
Joe has had Maggie for several years and is appealing for anyone who may know anything about her whereabouts or condition to get in touch.
He can be contacted on 07788545715.