IT WAS heartache for a Warwick family on Friday morning, when they woke to discover their beloved pet birds had been stolen.
Danelle Thompson and partner Patrick awoke before work to find a large hole ripped into a backyard birdcage and their two cockatiels missing.
Ms Thompson took to Facebook with photos of the hole in the bird wire and said there was little chance it could have been done by anything but a human.
"The hole is almost five feet off the ground," she said.
"Right at the height of the bird's perch.
"That bird wire is too strong for a cat or other predator to have done this.
"You think an animal would have tried to come through the bottom of the cage or dig under."
Feathers lay littered around the cage and caught on the jagged wire, the only trace of the birds.
Ms Thompson said they had purchased a male cockatiel earlier in the year and that he'd become part of the family.
"We called him Carlton after Patrick's football team and taught him to talk," she said.
"He'd whistle and say 'hello boy'.
"Then just last week we bought a female for company, in the hope they might breed.
"She was my Christmas present for Patrick and he's pretty devastated at the loss of his two pets."
Ms Thompson said no one in the house had heard anything through the night on Thursday.
"Our neighbours dogs are very quick to alert us if there's something in the yard," she said.
"But there was nothing.
"I can't understand why someone would want to steal family pets.
"They're not worth anything to anyone else but they were worth a lot to us."
Ms Danelle said the experience had left the whole family a little shocked.
"Carlton was a part of the family," she said.
"We'd always come out and have a chat to him and the grandkids just loved him.
"It's baffling that someone would do this.
"They're not out in the open and very few people would even know they were there."
Ms Thompson said it's possible the stolen birds may be given away as a Christmas present.
"If anyone sees someone suddenly has a pair of cockatiels, he is white and yellow and she was completely grey, I'd love to know," she said.
"I don't think we're going to replace them, it's a bit sad at the moment.
"People might say they're just birds, but they were pets to us, everybody loved them."
If anyone has information on the missing birds, they contact the Daily News on 46601325.