CARY — Charlie, a small, bright green Quaker Parrot with wanderlust, escaped from his Cary home five weeks ago, living the life of a free bird until he was spotted flitting through the trees of a Clayton subdivision 30 miles away late last week.
While on the lam in Johnston County, he dined on homegrown tomatoes still in the garden and successfully avoided cats and other predators.
His owners, who had given him up for long gone, say Charlie's experience in the wild has left him calmer and friendlier since his return home on Friday.
But the year-old Charlie, a breed of small parrot known for escape artistry and a talkative streak, is still the spoiled center of his family's attention — beating out two dogs, a cat and four young boys for the spotlight.
"You're a famous bird," owner Amy Locklear assured Charlie as he perched on her shoulder Monday afternoon.
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