Stagecoach lifts ban on Houdini the parrot taking a trip into Cambridge  
Friday, October 30, 2009 at 2:50
City Parrots in Conflict, Lorius garrulus - Chattering Lory

Michael back in harness, so to speak, with Houdini A PARROT'S owner has won a battle against a bus company which banned him travelling on its buses with his bird.

Michael Burdette-Deakin, of Newmarket, is celebrating after Stagecoach lifted the ban on Houdini, who has been taking trips into Cambridge, perched on his shoulder, for the past eight years.

The rare yellowbacked chattering lory was barred after fears were raised that the bird - which can say: "I love my darling" - may distract drivers.

But Michael, 49, refused to put the 14-year-old in a cage to travel.

Bus company bosses have now overturned the ban, as long as Houdini is harnessed.

Michael said: "He wasn't causing any problems. The passengers and drivers didn't mind, it was just the bus company bosses.

"They even wanted to send two inspectors to my home to check out the harness.

"I told them to go fly and I met the inspectors at the bus station."

And there's even more good news for Houdini. Michael said: "I had to clip his wings so that we could go on the bus, but now he'll be able to fly again because I can let them grow."

The bird-lover, who also has a macaw, is registered disabled due to a degenerative spinal condition.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach Cambridgeshire, says in a letter to Michael: "I agree with the inspectors' assessment that the bird can travel wearing the harness as long as it is kept under control. This is still at the drivers' discretion.

Article originally appeared on (
See website for complete article licensing information.