Wayward parrot finds way back to Fargo

Photo courtesy of Dee Johnson. When you live in Underwood, Minn., and a Congo African Grey Parrot shows up on your deck for no particular reason, you don’t turn away. There aren’t a lot of Congo African Grey Parrot in the Underwood flyways.

“It was friendly, and very thirsty & hungry,” Dee Johnson, an MPR listener, wrote to us today.

She acknowledges she’s not well schooled in handling parrots, so convincing the thing to come into the family’s screened-in porch didn’t go particularly well.

“The bird would allow us to pet it on the neck, and made parrot sounds calling us back out if we went inside,” she said. “We didn’t want to scare it off by trying anything crazy. After more than four hours, we figured the bird was here to stay with us on our deck, happily eating peanuts & drinking water, so we stopped trying to move her.”

  1. Listen Dee Johnson describes finding the parrot.

    June 23, 2015

They tried to keep the bird occupied. The parrot wasn’t much for crackers but apparently loved peanuts.

Johnson, meanwhile, worked the phone and eventually reached the Fargo Avian Adoption/Rescue Center. And the owner of the bird returned her call. The bird had fled from their cabin in Dent, about 30 miles away.

But by then, it was too late. The bird had left.

“We had miserably failed as parrot foster parents,” she acknowledged.

  1. Listen Dee Johnson describes phone call with parrot’s owner

    June 23, 2015

Fortunately, Johnson had the presence of mind to ask an important question: What should we do if it comes back?

For one thing, they learned the bird’s name: Wicket.

That came in handy when Wicket showed up again this morning.

  1. Listen Dee Johnson: The return of Wicket

    June 23, 2015

“She is a gentle sweet bird, and walked right on our hands when we said the command, ‘Step up…’ The parrot even answered: ‘There you go…'”

And, there you go.

Wicket is no longer facing a sticky situation and the owner was driving from Fargo this afternoon to pick up the bird, which was smart enough to land in the right wrong spot.

(h/t: Krystyna Pease)