Hoopidoopi, a bright red parrot, escaped her Brookhaven home nearly six weeks ago, flying out a garage door left open to air out a smoky kitchen. Since that day, her owners, who call themselves her mom and dad, have been frantic, but hopeful, that she will find her way home.
She’s been spotted in trees along Nancy Creek, standing atop the Marist School monument sign, flying over Ashford-Dunwoody Road and was even believed to have been screeching outside a Buckhead homeowner’s window.
Frances Rodriguez and her partner, David Pendergraft, have lived in the Mill Creek community between Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Johnson Ferry Road for 11 years. Eight years ago, they purchased Hoopidoopi, a female eclectus parrot, following the death of another beloved parrot, Kiki. They also have a male eclectus parrot, Rabone, who has been with them for 14 years.
Rodriguez said their eclectus parrots, native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, are known as the “couch potato” of parrots because they don’t like to fly far. They stand out from other parrots because the females are traditionally a bright red color and the males a vivid green.
“He’s sad,” she said of Rabone. “He looks out the window like he’s looking for her.”
Rodriguez and Pendergraft have been searching for Hoopidoopi nearly non-stop for more than a month, pounding the pavement between Peachtree-Dunwoody Road to Murphey Candler Park. They’ve strained their necks looking up into tall trees all along Nancy Creek, hoping to catch a glimpse of red plumage.
Rodriguez has made frequent trips to Office Depot and printed more than 500 “missing parrot” posters, sticking them in public spaces and in local businesses between Brookhaven and Buckhead, hoping for a lead.
About two weeks ago, a security guard at Marist School saw one of those posters and called the number listed, waking Rodriguez at 6:30 a.m. The guard said her missing parrot was perched on the school’s brick monument sign at the main entrance on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.
“I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ so I rushed over there,” Rodriguez said. “I saw a big bird fly over and closer to the buildings, but I didn’t have my glasses so I couldn’t see. I stayed for hours but found nothing.”
Messages posted on social media led to others saying they saw the bird flying over Ashford-Dunwoody Road or flying over Nancy Creek. Last week, a man in Buckhead called to say he heard “weird noises” outside his window, like a parrot trying to speak, Rodriguez said.
Male eclectus parrots are able speak clearly, but when females attempt to vocalize, they make strange, guttural sounds instead, according to Rodriguez. But still, no confirmed sighting of Hoopidoopi.
After no calls of sightings in the past week or so, the couple now hope and believe someone has rescued the bird and is keeping her in their home. Their wish is that person or family discovers the parrot already has a home and will return her to them. Plus, they are offering a $2,000 reward for her safe return.
“She’s very dear to us,” she said tearfully. “They are beautiful little animals. Very loving.”
Rodriguez said she’s received a great deal of comfort from her neighbors and people throughout Brookhaven who have followed the story of the missing parrot on social media, asking for updates and offering to help any way they can.
Despite the sad circumstances, Rodriguez said she has found a new community of friends.
“That’s the kind of neighborhood Brookhaven is,” she said. “They love their pets and they love their neighbors.”
If anyone reading this has seen Hoopidoopi, please call 817-909-9234 or email Frances Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you find Hoopidoopi or another parrot, steps to take:
Take to the bird to an avian veterinarian. The bird may be dehydrated and need medical attention.
The vet can also determine if the bird is chipped, which could help identify the owner.
Parrots don’t eat many seeds and should be fed special pellets available at pet stores. They also eat fresh vegetables and fruit.
Parrots also need a personal cage that can be covered at night to help them sleep. They can bite when scared, so be careful.
Be aware. Parrots also poop a lot, so have plenty of newspaper available.
Update: This story has been updated to clarify the names of Frances Rodriguez and David Pendergraft.