Confiscated bird coming home to Youngwood

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Gizmo is coming home.

The only thing Faith ''Faye'' Good wants to know is: When?

On March 23, 2013, the state Game Commission removed the talkative 27-year-old monk parakeet from Mrs. Good's Youngwood home because owning the bird is illegal in Pennsylvania, where it is classified as an agricultural pest.

But earlier this month, a judge ordered that Gizmo be removed from a state-operated facility and returned to Mrs. Good. According to the ruling, Gizmo must be kept indoors and cannot mate.

Mrs. Good said those conditions are not a problem because the bird will live in the same cage he has lived in since he was a baby.

A monk parakeet, also called a Quaker Parrot, is a medium-sized parrot native to South America that has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. They are banned in numerous states because they often set up outdoor colonies that are a threat to crops and native species.

When officials removed Gizmo from Mrs. Good's home, they also removed seven other birds she was not permitted to possess. She had found those birds outdoors after they had been injured or had fallen from nests.

''I'm the kind of person who can't leave an animal out there to die,'' Mrs. Good, 63, said.

After the Game Commission confiscated the birds, she paid a $500 fine.

To fight for Gizmo's return, she hired attorney Anthony Rosner of North Huntingdon, who filed a ''petition for return of personal property.''

She did not attempt to get back the other birds.

Mr. Rosner said it is difficult enough to get one bird back, and the other birds were not pets. ''But when it is your own personal bird, you feel connected to your pet,'' Mr. Rosner said.

In 1987, Mrs. Good paid $600 for Gizmo as a pet for her daughter, Lauren Good. The bird was acquired by a friend in Ohio, where ownership is legal.

''I didn't know they were illegal here," Mrs. Good said. "When I found out, I didn't tell anyone I had him.''

Since 1982, she has operated an in-home aviary called Faye's Bird Room, where she raises and sells cockatoos, parakeets, finches and more. She currently has about 80 birds.

To accommodate the birds, she keeps her house at 68 degrees year-round.

Mrs. Good said her late husband, Oscar Good, especially enjoyed talking to Gizmo, who would repeat some words back to him. Mr. Good died in January.

''He was an animal lover just like me,'' Mrs. Good said of her husband of 43 years. "He would have been excited to see him come back because he knows how much I loved that bird.''

Mr. Rosner said he has not yet heard when Gizmo will be returned.

Mrs. Good is anxious for the reunion.

''I'm just going to be happy. I'm going to talk to him and put him in his cage he's always had," she said.

''It will take him time, but they say they never forget.'' 

To contact Faye's Bird Room: 724-925-2439.

Margaret Smykla, freelance writer:

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