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Lost Parrot Returns Years Later Speaking Spanish

lost parrot
lost parrot

Nigel, an African gray parrot belonging to British owner Darren Chick went missing from his California home back in 2010. Four years later, the lost parrot was returned to Darren slightly changed…he could speak Spanish!

lost parrot
Image credit: Courtesy of Magda Ehlers via Pexels

A Spanish Surprise

Imagine the surprise when Nigel was discovered by dog-groomer Julia Sperling outside her front door. The parrot that once spoke with a British accent now spoke with a Spanish flair. Sperling, originally from Panama, could understand that the bird was saying, ‘What happened?’, in Spanish. According to Sperling, Nigel was the happiest bird, singing and talking uncontrollably, even barking like a dog.

Searching for the Lost Parrot’s Owner

Sperling, determined to reunite Nigel with his owner, began a community-wide hunt. Her online sleuthing led her to Teresa Micco, another hopeful pet owner searching for a parrot that matched Nigel’s description. Unfortunately, the microchip Nigel carried didn’t lead to Micco’s missing bird, but it was a vital clue.

The Lost Parrot’s Microchip

In a strange twist of fate, the microchip was actually implanted by Micco herself years ago when she was a vet tech. However it was never registered, so Micco had to employ the old-school method of tracing paper sales records which led her to the Animal Lovers pet store in Torrance, CA. The shop still had the original band number recorded from Nigel’s sale.


With two disconnected phone numbers in hand, Micco decided to knock on Darren Chick’s door, hoping he had not moved out over the last four years. Chick answered the door and was asked if he had lost a bird. While he was initially bewildered, Chick eventually recalled that his parrot had vanished four years prior. The two were finally reunited.

The Story Continues…

The Torrance Daily Breeze stated that they had received an email from a heartbroken family after hearing about Nigel’s return to his original owner. You see, during Nigel’s four-year hiatus, he was adopted by Liza Smith and her grandparents. He learned Spanish from Liza’s Guatemalan-born grandfather, who saw the parrot as a special friend and companion after the passing of his wife two years earlier. In the end, Chick returned Nigel to Liza and her grandfather.

Unanswered Questions

To add an extra layer of intrigue, Nigel occasionally utters the name “Larry.” The enigma surrounding Larry adds an element of mystery to Nigel’s journey. Where did he learn the name, and who is Larry? The answers remain elusive.

While there are still a few unanswered questions about Nigel’s time between Chick and the Smiths, this parrot’s journey is a testament to the bond that can be shared between humans and animals.

What do you think about the lost parrot? Leave a comment below.
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