Parrot missing for years returns speaking Spanish
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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?