A Dartmouth, N.S., couple is offering a $500 reward for its missing pet cockatiel named Spike.

"Tuesday morning, we answered the door and when I opened it he just flew out and took off," said Brandy McPhail, who has spent hours outside in her Woodlawn neighbourhood looking for the bird.

"He sings and he talks so I was listening for that." 

Spike can whistle a few tunes, including If You're Happy and You Know It and the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show.

"He says, 'Hi my name is Spike' and he just has a different whistle and a sound than the other birds, so if you did see him or hear him, you would know that it was him and not just a wild bird," said McPhail.

"He does respond to the sounds of other cockatiels," added her husband Steve McPhail.

Tweet if you've heard the bird

While there has been no sign of Spike yet, they are optimistic he will be spotted.

"He is a very friendly bird," he said. "He likes people, so I believe it's just a matter of time before he'll come to someone's patio."

Spike is about a year old and is one of three cockatiels the McPhails own. They have raised him since shortly after he was born.

"He's light grey and dark grey," said Brandy McPhail. "He has a yellow head with the big spike feathers on his head. He has big orange cheeks."

The couple has posted on a website for missing birds, Twitter and Facebook. The McPhails welcome any information about where Spike is and can be reached at (902) 488-0244 or on Twitter.