A very British pet parrot named Nigel has been reunited with his owner after disappearing four years ago – but he now speaks Spanish.
Nigel, a grey African parrot, flew away from his home in California in 2010 but was returned to his British owner, Darren Chick, after he was discovered in Torrance, California.
Although the Spanish-speaking bird bit Mr Chick when he first saw him, the happy owner said: “He’s doing perfect.”
Mr Chick says his bird’s British accent is gone, replaced by fluent Spanish – and someone called “Larry”.
Even though he has no idea where the bird has been for the last four years, he claimed: “It’s really weird, I knew it was him from the minute I saw him.”
Nigel was discovered by Julia Sperling, who owns a dog-grooming parlour, after she took him in as he matched a missing pet advertisement she had seen.
“He was the happiest bird. He was singing and talking without control. He was barking like the dogs,” she said.
“I’m from Panama and he was saying, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish.”
After handing Nigel over to Teresa Micco, a veterinarian’s technician who had been searching for her own lost bird since February, she realised her mistake and attempted to trace his original owner.
Miss Micco tracked Mr Chick by sifting through old sale records on Nigel’s microchip, eventually turning up with Nigel in tow. “I introduced myself and said, ‘Have you lost a bird?’ He initially said no. But he thought I meant recently.
“He looked at me like I was crazy.”