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Parkersburg, West Virginia


Fred the monk parakeet is no birdbrain. The bird escaped from his owners, survived four years in the wild, and then found his way back home! Even though sightings of the bright green parakeet had been reported over the years, the Edwards family was shocked when he suddenly showed up in a friend's yard. "We knew it was him because he had the same chipped beak,” says 12-year-old Aaron Edwards.

BRAINY BIRD  The bird also kept repeating "What Fred," a nonsense saying he squawked before he escaped. Plus he snuggled up to his pals just like he used to. "It was as if he never left," Aaron's dad says. Some things had changed, though. Fred stopped biting, and he now eats only birdseed instead of his previous favorite food, french fries. "I think he's relieved to be back," Aaron says. "It's like he thought, It’s been a nice vacation, but it's time to go home."      


Text by Kristin Baird Rattini
Photograph by Pablo Mendez Rodriguez, Dreamstime

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