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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Spikey's owner comes forward
Cockatiels are noted for their singing voices

A lost cockatiel that can whistle Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is to be reunited with his owners from Sunderland.

Spikey had been rescued from the wild by the RSPCA but his musical talent was causing his "foster carer" sleepless nights with his rendition.

Now his owner, Etta Clinton, from Sunderland, who was on holiday in Scarborough when he was found, has come forward.

And she revealed his real name is Zak.

She will collect the bird, which escaped through a loose door in his cage when he was in the garden, on Wednesday.

He was with another bird - Vinny - who also escaped but has not been seen since.

Tree rescue

Zak had woken his carer Elaine Redhead by giving her a rendition of the overture every morning at 0400 BST.

Now, three sleepless weeks after taking him in, Mrs Redhead, from Great Lumley, County Durham, will reunite Zak with his real owner.

Zak was rescued from a tree in Sunderland by the RSPCA - he would have been mobbed and killed by other birds, or have died from starvation.

Mrs Redhead, 52, said: "His rendition of Tchaikovsky's piece is pretty impressive - I recognised it straight away."

His owners say the bird could already whistle the 1812 Overture when they got him from someone in Grindon.

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