Neighborly love brings missing parakeet home

Published 2:36 pm Sunday, April 30, 2023

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LAPLACE — A sun parakeet discovered on the front porch of a home in Belle Terre Lakes returned home this week as a result of one man’s faith and a lot of neighborly love.

Christopher Honore and his bird, Chee Chee, have been inseparable for the past four-and-a-half years. She perches on his shoulder during the day and even stays beside him at night, using his bandana as her personal blanket. Without her human by her side, Chee Chee was completely out of her element after she flew away while Honore and his fiancée met with a contractor last Saturday in the St. Andrew’s subdivision of LaPlace.

For four days, Honore traveled countless miles on his bicycle and in his Jeep, calling out Chee Chee’s name and praying that a predator bird hadn’t gotten ahold of her. Conures are capable of traveling more than 30 miles in a single day, and after four days, she could have been anywhere. Little did he know, Chee Chee was in good hands just two miles away.

Keith Johnson was called to his neighbor’s LaPlace home on Saturday afternoon. A little red bird that resembled a parrot was perched on a gas lamp under the front porch, and neighbors knew Johnson was knowledgeable about birds from the care he put into raising his two green-wing McCaws.

Johnson and his wife carried over an emergency cage and some food. They immediately identified the bird as a sun conure and discovered she was not only tame, but hand-reared. After setting the little bird up in temporary housing, Johnson began reaching out to local veterinary clinics and neighbors through Facebook and the Next Door app. There were several inquiries for the bird, which raised questions about people’s true intentions. Honore’s sister Caroline was among those who responded to the post on NextDoor, and she was able to provide photos of her brother and Chee Chee.

To ensure Chee Chee would return to her rightful owner, Johnson asked to meet with Honore to confirm that the end table seen in a photo was actually in his home. On Wednesday morning, Johnson pulled up to Honore’s home to find him crying tears of joy in the driveway. Honore quickly confirmed Chee Chee belonged to hima, and he pulled Johnson into a big bear hug when it was finally time to reunite with his beloved bird.

Chee Chee howled with happiness when she saw Honore and showed off her dance moves upon returning home.

Honore never lost faith during the four-day search. He found inspiration from Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say” and from a faith-based movie about believing in miracles, and he knows in his heart that God brought Chee Chee to Johnson.

“Chee Chee means a lot to me. I love her like my child,” Honore said. “This shows how beautiful humanity can be. Mr. Keith could have kept my bird. He told me there were people trying to claim her. I’m so thankful to Mr. Keith and his wife because it shows you not only that God is real, but that there are still people in this world willing to do the right thing.”