Missing parrot Nigel who spoke with British accent found four years later speaking Spanish

The African grey parrot, Nigel was reunited with his owner Darren Chick after four years. -- PHOTO: ROBERT CASILLAS
The African grey parrot, Nigel was reunited with his owner Darren Chick after four years. -- PHOTO: ROBERT CASILLAS

A cheeky prodigal parrot finds its way home after four long years - and has picked up Spanish too

One would not expect a lost pet to turn up four years later, but that was exactly what Darren Chick from Torrance, California, experienced recently when his pet parrot was found four years after its loss, reports The Daily Breeze. And the bird now spoke with Spanish too.

The parrot Nigel was initially found by Julissa Sperling of Happy Tails Dog Spa, who was amused by the clever bird who would whistle, sing, mimic the barking of the dogs and say "What happened?" in Spanish.

Convinced that the chirpy bird belonged to someone, the Sperlings then tracked down vetenarian Teresa Micco from her missing bird advertisements she had been placing for the last nine months. Micco herself had lost a similar looking 19-year-old African grey named Benjamin in Feburary. Unfortunately, while the bird was not hers, the associate veterinarian at Pointe Vicente Animal Hospital in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, was able to use the chatty animal's microchip to locate its original owner, fellow Torrance resident Chick.

Chick teared up at the unexpected reunion but found that Nigel had changed: The bird, who once talked with a cultivated British accent, now spoke with a Spanish one and pecked Chick when he tried to pick it up.

African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds whose talent for mimicking human speech and a long lifespan of 18 to 30 years make them popular as pets. They have the capacity to have a vocabulary up to 2,000 words, the intellectual capability of a five-year-old child and the emotions of a two-year-old.

In Singapore, an African grey can cost anything between $700 and $1,500.

saraannk@sph.com.sg

Source: The Daily Breeze