African grey parrot rescued by Milpitas Fire Battalion moves to Gilroy facility as search for owner continues

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- A highly prized Congo African grey parrot is safe inside a cage at Milpitas Fire Station 1.

It was found by firefighters Sunday in a tree in a grove near Highway 680 and Dixon Landing Road.

"It definitely was very happy to be out of the cold, and it was very appreciative of me coming to save him and put him in a very warm cab as we came back to the station I would say that for sure," said Milpitas Fire Battalion Chief Brian Stelling.

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The quest now is reuniting the parrot with its owner, who days later, hasn't been located.

There's concern that someone might try to claim fraudulently that this is their parrot, so at the fire department's request, we're not showing certain markings on its body.

Battalion Chief Stelling won't even disclose the bird's gender, whether it's friendly or not, or what it says.

They can sell for between $1500 and $2500, according to Andy Artessa, an administrator of the African Grey Parrot Club on Facebook.

The parrot's home may be miles from where it was found.

"They normally would be one to five miles away from their home, but then talking to the rescue groups with the recent weather patterns that we've had with the high winds and everything else, it could be up to 20 miles away from its home," according to Battalion Chief Stelling.

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On Monday, Chief Stelling will stop fostering the bird and turn it over to the Souza's Avian Sanctuary in Gilroy, which already is boarding and caring for other African greys.

"We'll take care of him, we'll keep him safe, we'll keep him fed and we'll keep him healthy in the process of looking for the owners," said owner Christy Souza.

Adoption will be the next step if the owners can't be found. That can be challenging as African greys are known to bond with one person, usually of the opposite sex.

Flyers have been posted online to help find the parrot's owner.

Christy Souza at Souza's Avian Sanctuary can be reached at 408-896-6711.
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