AN ORPINGTON woman believes her pet bird is the oldest in the world.

Freda Miah, 55, from Blenheim Road, says she got her cockatiel Pia in July 1984 and thinks it may well hold the world record.

The loving owner said after checking her diary she realised her feathery friend will turn 30 this year – and is going to enter him to the Guinness World Records.

Sales assistant Ms Miah said he is not just a companion but one of the family – having grown up in with her two sons, aged 25 and 35.

She told News Shopper: “I got him from my neighbour who used to do breeding. I got him when he was born.

“He’s going to be 30 this year. I think he could well be the oldest living cockatiel in the world.

“He’s very friendly, he’s like my son really – part of the family. Pia’s very special to me.”

Ms Miah said the bird is now blind in one eye and sleeps for a lot of the day, but added his feathers remain “lovely” and he still enjoys flying around the room.

The Guinness World Records’ website says the past holder of the honour, Pretty Boy, from the USA, was aged 28 years and 47 days – but passed away in 2004.

Without a new holder it seems the claim is open for Ms Miah to go for – but she may be in with some competition.

On the website a number of others claim their cockatiel is the oldest, including a US woman called Raejeania Crommett whose pet is also said to be turning 30 this year.

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Some cockatiel facts:

- The bird’s lifespan in captivity is generally given as 16–25 years, though there are reports of cockatiels living as long as 32 years.

- Cockatiels are native to Australia.

- A member of the cockatoo family (and the smallest member) they are prized companions throughout the world. As a caged bird, they are said to be second in popularity only to the Budgerigar.

- The male’s face is either yellow or white, while the female’s is primarily grey or light grey. Both sexes have a round orange area around their ears, often referred to as "cheddar cheeks."