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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 15:42 GMT
Seasick parrot leaves Navy ship
Sunny the African Grey
Sunny was taken ashore after showing signs of illness
Life on an ocean wave proved too much for a seasick Royal Navy parrot, who has been given shore leave to recover.

Sunny, an African Grey, spent four years aboard the HMS Lancaster, but vets noticed the six-year-old was unwell and recommended a spell ashore.

She is now being looked after by the family of one of the ship's officers in Penarth, south Wales.

In 2004 there were fears she would have to be taken off board during the Queen's visit because of her swearing.

As it turned out Sunny did not cause royal embarrassment and kept a civil tongue.

Every morning, half-an-hour before the alarm to wake everyone up would go off, she would whistle the sound so we'd all wake up earlier than we should
Lieutenant Commander Jason Baggaley
Sunny's colourful language has become familiar aboard the frigate.

Phrases she also uses include: "You ain't seen me, right" (from the BBC's Fast Show) and "Zulus, thousands of 'em" (from the 1960s film Zulu).

After years of living in the officers' mess, the crew noticed that Sunny had become withdrawn and agitated and had even started plucking out her plumage.

Vets ordered that a break onshore was essential for Sunny to make a recovery, so one of the ship's officers, Lieutenant Mari Duffy, volunteered for the bird to stay at her parents' home in Penarth.

Sunny has already made a rapid recovery after her new carers, Ceinwen Jackson and her partner Tony Sawyer took her in.

Ceinwen Jackson and Sunny
Ceinwen Jackson has taken in Sunny

They have built her an outside aviary and she is allowed to fly around the house.

Sunny was bought for the ship by The Sun newspaper after the previous parrot drowned after falling overboard. The bird's wings had been clipped which prevented it from flying out of danger.

Lieutenant Commander Jason Baggaley from HMS Lancaster said the ship was a much quieter place without her.

"We all miss her because she is one of our most famous characters," he said.

"She was a very chirpy bird. Every morning, half-an-hour before the alarm to wake everyone up would go off, she would whistle the sound so we'd all wake up earlier than we should.

"And she could sing along to the Great Escape too - although we had managed to curb her foul language, so she is much more eloquent these days.

"Even though she isn't aboard anymore, she remains HMS Lancaster's mascot," he added.


SEE ALSO:
Queen meets foul-mouthed parrot
05 Mar 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset


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