Comment permalink

Lost parakeet gives police his address

Piko-chan, the self-rescuing budgie!

The 64 year-old Japanese woman who owns a parakeet named Piko-chan was really thinking ahead when she taught her little bird to recite his own address. 

Small birds often manage to get out through a window accidentally left open, or a front door opened at an inopportune moment. Most of these birds never make it home. Even when a small tropical bird is able to survive until it is found, it can be almost impossible to make a solid identification.
Lacking microchips and often leg bands, small pet birds in particular are vulnerable to this problem. In fact, Piko-chan's owner had lost her previous budgie this way, which is why she was determined to teach Piko-chan his own address.
But when Piko-chan escaped his home in the city of Sagamihara, this clever little fellow managed to find his way home with a little bit of help from the local police. Piko-chan flew to the nearby city center, where he perched on the shoulder of a (presumably surprised) guest at a nearby hotel. 
This citizen turned Piko-chan in to the authorities, where he spent several days in silence. Eventually Piko-Chan "blurted out the names of the city and the district where his owner lives." Piko-chan followed this up with his owner's street address. 
Clever fellow!
"Parakeet" is a general term that describes any of a number of small parrot species. The most common parakeet in the pet trade is the budgerigar or "budgie." Just like all parrots, budgies can speak if properly trained. 
Budgies are native to Australia, where these cheerful and brightly-colored little birds are able to survive some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Budgies can see in the UV spectrum, learn to mimic human speech and other sounds, and can live up to 20 years if given a proper diet and exercise regime.
Among parrots, budgies are one of the best mimics. They are considered one of the top five parrot species where mimicry is concerned. The world record holder is a budgie named Puck, who had a vocabulary of a whopping 1,728 words.
Piko-chan's grand adventure is a great suggestion for any parrot owner. Although birds are notoriously liable to fall silent when you most wish they would speak! Budgies are a little bit too small to be microchipped, although larger parrots can certainly be microchipped as an excellent form of protection against loss or theft. If you have a pet budgie, you may want to consider getting it a leg band. Contact your local pet shop or budgie society for more information.