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Have you seen these birds? Drayton grandfather appeals for return of much-loved yellow canaries

PUBLISHED: 13:30 25 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 26 November 2017

One of the Mike Rogers' birds was found by a school caretaker at Drayton Junior School. Photo: Charlotte Lawrence.

One of the Mike Rogers' birds was found by a school caretaker at Drayton Junior School. Photo: Charlotte Lawrence.

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A grandfather is asking for people to help return his bright yellow canary birds after they escaped from an aviary near Norwich.

One of the Mike Rogers' birds was found by a school caretaker at Drayton Junior School. Photo: Charlotte Lawrence.One of the Mike Rogers' birds was found by a school caretaker at Drayton Junior School. Photo: Charlotte Lawrence.

Mike Rogers, 81, said around 14 of the birds flew from their enclosure in Drayton when high winds blew the roof off last Wednesday.

Since then, there have been several sightings in the nearby villages of Taverham and Thorpe Marriott - with one even flying into a school staff room.

Mr Rogers, who has been raising canaries since he was 15, said three had already returned home while another three had been found dead.

The former transport manager said his hopes of finding the rest alive were now fading due to the cold weather.

Mike Rogers, 81, said around 14 of the birds flew from their enclosure in Drayton when high winds blew the roof off last Wednesday. Photo: Joanne FurseMike Rogers, 81, said around 14 of the birds flew from their enclosure in Drayton when high winds blew the roof off last Wednesday. Photo: Joanne Furse

“We have had several people ring up about them,” Mr Rogers said.

“There was one found at the [Drayton] school and they kindly put it in a box and brought it back.”

“But without food they will not survive for more than two days. And after that cold frost, I am not confident any more are alive.”

The day after they escaped, Mr Rogers said two flew back to his aviary on Highfield Road.

Meanwhile, one of the birds was found by the a teacher at Drayton Infant School and was returned.

Mr Rogers said his 15-year-old grandson, who also helps raised the birds, had been visiting when they escaped.

He said: “He was quite upset about it. But after 81 years, I’ve realised if you keep livestock you also get deadstock. It’s the law of the country.”

Mr Rogers said some of the birds were descendents of the first canaries he owned as a teenager - more than 60 years ago.

Canary birds originate from the Macaronesian islands off the coast of Africa and Europe.

Norwich was once a famous centre for breeding and exporting the animals.

It resulted in the football club earning the nickname “The Canaries” and adopting its colours.

In a Facebook comment left under an appeal for the birds to be returned, one person wrote: “There’s usually 11 lost canaries at Carrow Road every other Saturday.”

Anyone who has managed to capture one of the birds alive is asked to call Mr Rogers on 01603 868126.

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