WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Taylor Tomaselli is ecstatic to have her Quaker parrot, Randall, back at home safe and sound.
"I thought for sure he was either dead or sold, far away somewhere. I didn't think I was going to get my bird back at all," she said.
Late last November, Tomaselli had came from work to find the bird missing. She spent the last few months searching for Randall and was offering a $500 reward for anyone who had information.
That was until Friday night, when she got a message from a woman who said she may have her bird.
That message came from Amber Allen from Chaumont. Allen had posted on Craigslist that she was looking for a bird.
Someone had contacted her and said they had one. She went to buy the bird for $250, but when she was leaving something caught her eye.
"Right there on the telephone pole was a poster and it was a picture of a green bird and I kind of like looked at it for a second and it said 'missing' and I was like, no way, there's no way. Is this the same bird," said Allen.
Allen's sister had seen a news story about the missing parrot online. After matching the description of the missing bird to the one she had just brought home, Allen reached out to Tomaselli.
At first, Tomaselli says she was skeptical after receiving many false leads. But sure enough, after seeing photos, she knew it was her missing bird and went to pick him up right away.
"I don't think it registered right away; I was just in total shock. I couldn't believe this was actually my bird," she said. "The moment I opened the cage, he clung right to my chest and he wouldn't let go. So I know he was missing me just as much as I was missing him."
When Tomaselli got her parrot back, she also learned where the woman bought it. And she says, it turns out it was someone who lives nearby.
Watertown Police are still investigating, but do have a person of interest.
Tomaselli is hoping for justice, but most of all she's glad to have Randall back.
"This was really pretty much a miracle and I have to thank the kind people who reached out to me because if it wasn't for them, there's no way I would have him," she said.
Tomaselli says Randall is doing well. She says he was a little thin and his beak was overgrown, but all in all he’s okay.