Parrot missing for years returns speaking Spanish An African grey parrot (AP photo / Reuters)
Parrot missing for years returns speaking Spanish
Lexile

A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner and the bird now speaks Spanish.

The reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook Nigel, an African gray parrot, for her own missing bird, the newspaper Daily Breeze reported.

Teresa Micco then tracked Nigel's microchip to Darren Chick, a Brit who lives in Torrance.

"I introduced myself and said, 'Have you lost a bird?'" Micco said. "He initially said, 'No.' But he thought I meant recently."

When she verified Chick's name and said she had his African grey parrot, "He looked at me like I was crazy."

He said his bird went missing four years earlier.

Little is known about Nigel's whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird's British accent is gone, and it now chatters in Spanish.

Chick says last week's reunion brought tears of joy to his eyes, despite the fact that Nigel bit him when he first tried to pick him up.

Micco said the behavior was not unusual and that Nigel would settle back in soon enough.

"He's doing perfect," Chick told the newspaper a few days later. "It's really weird. I knew it was him from the minute I saw him."

It's the fifth parrot reunion facilitated by Micco, who has been running ads for her own missing bird for nine months. That parrot, Benjamin, flew the coop in February when it darted out a door that was left open.

Julissa Sperling found Nigel outside her home and brought him to Micco after seeing one of her ads.

But first, Sperling took Nigel to her dog-grooming business.

"He was the happiest bird. He was singing and talking without control," Sperling said. "He was barking like the dogs. I'm from Panama and he was saying, 'What happened?' in Spanish."

Critical thinking challenge: How can a bird bark like a dog and also speak in Spanish? Does the bird know what it is saying?

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COMMENTS (44)
  • DD2001green
    10/17/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    A parrot learns how to speak when it is around people. So the parrot probably went to a Spanish area and learned it from the people that was speaking it.

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    10/17/2014 - 09:41 a.m.

    Now i know that a bird can learn a new language faster than i could. I wonder what set of circumstances would have to take place for the bird to return to the house, formerly speaking in a british accent, now speaking spanish. This sounds like the plot of a Disney movie.

  • alexi1125
    10/17/2014 - 10:30 a.m.

    well parots learn to speak when their around people.So the bird picked up a couple of spanish words around the area. Also parots just copy want you say.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    10/17/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    I honestly do think he knows what he was saying. My friend has an African Grey and he's really smart. They're said to have the intelligence of a 5 year old.

  • LJavier-Sti
    10/17/2014 - 01:52 p.m.

    I thought this article is very interesting because a PARROT can speak SPANISH!!! The parrot spoke french at first but then a veteran thought the parrot Spanish.

  • AvaP-4
    10/17/2014 - 07:50 p.m.

    Four years ago, Nigel the African bird, owned by Micco, went missing. Recently, Nigel was found speaking Spanish. The founder thought this was strange after finding out he used to speak British. Nigel, when found, was brought to an animal care center. They then used his micro chip to trace his owner and bring the bird home. I think that it's crazy that after all this time, the bird was brought home. I would've loved to have seen Micco's face when he realized his bird was back.

  • rowdyl-Koc
    10/18/2014 - 09:46 p.m.

    A bird can bark like a dog and speak languages because they repeat what they hear and they don't actually know what they are saying. Exotic birds are kind of cool but can be annoying to own.

  • NickB-2
    10/19/2014 - 12:58 p.m.

    This article is about a parrot who went missing. Nigel, an African grey parrot, went missing four years ago and when he left he spoke a British accent. Now, he has been returned by veterinarian Teresa Micco to his owner, Darren Chick, and now the bird speaks in Spanish as well. He was brought to Micco by Julissa Sperling after she brought him to her dog grooming business, where he was happy and barked like the dogs there. I think this is funny and heartwarming.

  • jasonm-Koc
    10/19/2014 - 01:28 p.m.

    It really amazes me how animals will repeat what they hear and even use the same accent as the owner. I am proud that the bird got reunited with its owner. One day i want to get a parrot of my own to train it to speak.

  • KiaraMc-Wil
    10/19/2014 - 02:55 p.m.

    Some animals are much more intellagent then we give them credit for. Its extraordinary that a bird could adapt to the English and Spanish language. Just...wow.

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