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Can a Bird Save the Day?
THESE FEATHERED HEROES Aren’t Exactly Birdbrains
Willie Sounds the Alarm In 2009, Megan Howard and her pet parrot, Willie, were babysitting 2-year- old Hannah Kuusk. When Megan went to the bathroom, she suddenly heard a loud scream and a high-pitched voice shouting, “Mama baby!” She dashed out of the bathroom and found Willie next to Hannah, whose face was turning blue. Howard quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver to save the choking girl, but she
We hear stories about dogs, cats, and even dolphins stepping up to save the day, but mammals aren’t the only animal heroes worth celebrating. Check out these feathered friends who prove every bird has its day. Charlie the Watch Bird When two men knocked on his door early one September morning in 2011, kindhearted Jack Dukes welcomed the strangers into his home, hoping to offer assistance. The men turned on him. They beat Jack up and demanded pills, but this didn’t fly with Jack’s pet macaw,
Argonne Offensive. Unfortunately, they were completely alone. Enemy and friendly fire rained down on them, and the commander sent a plea to headquarters with his last carrier pigeon, Cher Ami. The moment Cher Ami took off, Germans opened fire on the pigeon. However, despite being shot through the breast and losing a leg and an eye, Cher Ami kept flying. He made it 25 miles to headquarters, delivering the message that saved 194 men. Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, a medal celebrating wartime heroics, and his body is enshrined at the Smithsonian's Price of Freedom exhibit in Washington, D.C. They say birds of a feather flock together, and these brave birds flock with the humans they love. Maybe being birdbrained isn’t such a bad thing after all.
considers Willie the real hero. The local chapter of the Red Cross later awarded Willie their Animal Lifesaver Award.
Charlie. The colorful bird leapt to his master’s defense, scratching and biting one of the invaders. After Charlie took a chunk out of the intruder’s arm, the man and his accomplice fled, and Jack called the authorities.
Cher Ami and the Lost Battalion During World War I, a division
of U.S. forces managed to cross German lines in what would be called the Meuse-
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