The Herald Bulletin

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April 22, 2013

Montana man reunited with bird he lost in a divorce

BUTTE, Mont. — A Great Falls man who lost his macaw in a divorce more than five years ago has been reunited with the bird, thanks to an observant friend.

Mike Taylor picked up the 25-year-old bird he calls "Love Love" at Montana's Parrot & Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Butte on Sunday.

Taylor said his wife sold the bird after a nasty divorce. "I've been kind of looking for him the whole time," he said.

A friend of Taylor's, Steven Campbell, recently spotted the bird during a visit to the sanctuary.

It took some time for Campbell to convince Taylor. Then Taylor had to convince sanctuary founder Lori McAlexander. But she said he knew things about the bird that only a previous owner could have known, like it was blind in one eye, said "love love" and liked to play peek-a-boo.

The bird was surrendered to the sanctuary a couple of years ago after it bit a woman so hard she required medical attention, McAlexander said.

"I don't even handle him because he will bite me," she said.

Love Love appeared to recognize Taylor right away.

"Hangs upside down already, let me grab his beak, does his peeky-boo, likes to tuck his head," said Taylor, who called the reunion "very heart touching."

"He's himself again already, he really is. I mean, he (didn't) forget."

Taylor also got the bird's original cage back after searching on Craigslist. A woman who obtained the contents of his ex-wife's storage unit agreed to give him the cage back at no charge.

"It's kind of weird how he's getting his bird and the cage," McAlexander said.

Taylor said he initially got the bird at a Salt Lake City sanctuary after it was rescued from a woman who reportedly beat it with a broom.

Macaws can live up to 50 years, according to the San Diego Zoo.

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