Off Beat Stories

Sep 4, 2009 12:08 PM by Jennifer Copeland

Years after it flew the coop, family's bird makes surprise return

A beloved pet takes flight only to return unexpectedly years later his identity confirmed with a little whistle and a catchy tune.

"It's kind of a mystery," said Larry Ward. "'He's history' was basically my feeling."

Ward's pet Cockatiel bird Skipper flew the coup three years ago.
"Our feeling of his survival was not very good," Ward said. "I was a little distraught over the bird being gone because he was part of the family."

Skipper was gone, but not forgotten.

"Every once in a while I thought I'd hear him whistling in the trees out front," Ward said. "He's still whistling the 'Mexican Hat Dance' that I taught him years ago."

Last week, Ward's two grandsons spotted something familiar.

"'Skipper, we think he's here. We think it's grandpa's bird,'" Ward said.

The bird looked like Skipper his feathers a little ruffled. But could it really be the family bird after three years? There was simply one test.

"I got out of the truck and I whistled a little tune that I taught him and he came right to my feet," Ward said. "We hear marvelous pet stories all the time about people moving and they lose their dog and the dog finds its way back to them. Somehow I just thought a dog was quite smarter than a bird, but maybe I was wrong."



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