A parrot breeder in Telford fears his home is being watched after thieves stole a £700 bird from its aviary while he popped out of the house.
Les Farley, of Holly Road in Little Dawley, says the pink galah cockatoo was stolen on Monday just weeks after he advertised the bird for sale on the internet.
He says he is struggling to sleep at night as he is afraid the thieves could come back.
Police are appealing for help to find the bird and a reward is being offered through the National Theft Register of Exotic Animals.
The bird lived in an aviary in Mr Farley’s back garden, and police say thieves forced the lock on the door. Mr Farley, 57, has bred parrots for 10 years and bought the two-year-old last summer.
He said he wanted to breed the bird but its mate died three weeks ago so he decided to sell the female.
Mr Farley, who has a heart condition, said: “It could be opportunistic, but I have a very sophisticated alarm system and for the first time I forgot to set it when we nipped out, so I think they might have been watching.”
Mr Farley said it was his wife Carolyn’s birthday on Monday and they popped out between 1.30pm and 3.30pm to buy food to make a birthday meal.
He said: “It was a bit of shock. For the first time I forgot to put the alarm on and a bird goes missing.
“The bird could not have escaped, it was very upsetting. I cannot sleep at night because I’m afraid they might come back. I’ve got a feeling I am being watched and it could be professionals.”
John Hayward, co-ordinator for the National Theft Register of Exotic Animals, said: “We are particularly concerned about this parrot as whoever has stolen it will not be aware of its essential diet.” He added they often did not survive the trauma of being stolen.
Police spokeswoman Denise Wakefield, said: “The cockatoo is ringed so the bird is identifiable.” Information to police on 101.