AN EXHAUSTED blue budgie was plucked from the sea half a mile off Berry Head after being spotted by divers.
The RSPCA says it was 'unbelievable' that the little bird was seen and rescued so far out to sea.
Now the search is on to find the rightful owner of the budgie who has now been renamed Captain.
By a fluke Torquay diver Cathy Jackman spotted the fluttering bird as it disappeared under waves several times in rough weather at the weekend.
It took the Torbay British Sub Aqua boat three attempts before divers were able to scoop the budgie out of the water.
An RSPCA spokesman said: "It's quite an unbelievable story. When the budgie was first brought in we thought he had been rescued from the shore.
"It's a mystery how he got so far out to sea.
"He's just lucky that the boat was passing at that exact moment and that they spotted him in the water. He's quite a plump little bird so he must be well-loved and cared for by somebody."
Cathy was diving with other members of the Torbay British Sub Aqua Club when she saw something in the water.
"We were off Mudstone Ledge, roughly half a mile out from Berry Head on Saturday," she said.
"I noticed something fluttering and bobbing up and down on the surface of the water some distance away.
"We went off to investigate and realised that it was a bird of some sort. The bird was flapping and disappearing under the water and had almost drowned as it clearly could not take off or swim.
"We spun around on our boat, the Torbay Diver. It took three passes as it was extremely windy, but we eventually managed to rescue the bird.
"The bird turned out to be a ringed budgie.
"It couldn't open its eyes at first and I didn't think he was going to make it. He was like a floppy, wet rag.
"But I washed off the salt water which was stinging his eyes and wrapped him up warm in a dark, ventilated box to calm him down.
"I was like a mother hen all day, fussing over him every five minutes until we got back in at 5pm. By then he was looking much better and had opened his eyes.
"We kept him overnight and bought him some Trill budgie food. The RSPCA collected him the next morning and he's at their Little Valley Animal Shelter in Exeter now."
Captain has a ring with an identifying number.
Torbay British Sub Aqua Club formed in 1954 and has 50 members, with two boats on Torquay harbourside.
The club meets every Wednesday evening at Torquay Royal Yacht Club at 8.30pm. To try dives and arrange training, contact Kevin Jeremiah on 07875 284 313.
See video clips of Captain back on dry land on www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk