Some of you may remember the story I posted awhile back about the amazon that saved its owner from a fire by alerting it with noise, but the amazon died of smoke inhilation.

This story is just as tragic, but I think it pretty much puts to rest any question of the loyalty, intelligence, and unique personality that these birds may possess.

Dead bird's evidence may cage two men
September 4, 2002 Posted: 8:48 PM EDT (0048 GMT)

DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) -- A hero cockatoo slain trying to protect its master from knife-wielding assailants may prove to be the star witness in the trial of its owner's suspected killers.

Dallas prosecutors showed a grand jury Wednesday DNA evidence from blood samples found at the scene they say links two men arrested in the case to the home of the bird's owner. The blood apparently came from a wound the bird pecked on the

head of one of the suspects, said prosecutor George West.

West expects to receive an indictment this week on capital murder for the suspects Johnny Serna, 22, and Daniel Torres, 30, for allegedly killing Kevin Butler last December over a dispute about money.

According to evidence presented to the grand jury, the two suspects allegedly broke into Butler's home. During a violent struggle in Butler's living room, the white-crested cockatoo named Bird after basketball great Larry Bird, swooped down on the attackers and clawed at their skin and pecked at their heads, West said.

"Bird was valiant," West said.

Bird apparently wounded Torres, but the protective member of the parrot family paid the price for trying to take on two armed foes. Bird has its leg cut off and was found dead in the kitchen of Butler's home -- apparently stabbed to death by a fork in the back.

West said the two suspects, who had been arrested on suspicion of capital murder, denied any involvement in the crime until DNA results of the blood samples came back in July and allegedly placed Torres at the scene of the crime. But police told the court one of the suspects confessed when faced with the DNA evidence.

West said the bird's beak and claws have been checked for blood in a search for additional DNA evidence. Results should come back in about two weeks.

"In my 22 years on the job, I've never seen anything like this," West said. "They did an autopsy on the bird and I never heard of that either. Both of them (Butler and the bird) were brought in on stretchers."

A white-crested cockatoo stands about 18 inches to 20 inches tall and has a beak powerful enough to snap thin tree branches, said Carol Highfill, who runs an Internet site devoted to bird owners.