CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Two macaws have gone missing from their home in south Champaign County, and their owner is asking for help finding them before the impending winter storm arrives.
The macaws, a type of tropical parrot, were last seen by their pet sitter when owner Ken Welle arrived back home on Dec. 16. Welle said the pet sitter didn’t notice anything strange with the birds.
“I am upset they’re gone,” said Welle, a retired U of I veterinarian who specializes in birds. “Maybe the wind flew their home door open. I don’t know how else they would’ve got out.”
Welle keeps the macaws in a 1,000-square-foot aviary at his home, but he spends a great amount of time letting them fly in the wild. However, he hasn’t done so in a few months due to cold weather.
“I have trained them to free fly for years,” said Welle. “They are well-trained and recognize my voice each time I call them back, but their training is still ongoing.”
Welle has owned the macaws since 2014 when they were four months old. He named one Boston because of its blue and gold color, the same colors as the Boston Marathon in which Welle participated in many years ago. The other macaw, covered in red, blue, and green colors, is named Phoenix after the city.
“I have always been fascinated by the creatures,” said Welle. “Birds are beautiful animals and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”
With the upcoming storm set to hit Central Illinois in the coming days, Welle said he hopes the birds haven’t flown too far away from home, but they are more than likely flying to warmer areas.
“The birds are easy to spot anywhere with their bright colors,” said Welle. “They are loud birds too and make lots of noise, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
It is unclear if the macaws escaped or were stolen at this time. Welle can be reached at 217-621-5271 if you have any information about the birds.
“I hope someone locates them soon and lets me know,” said Welle.