Tweezer Beezer Book captures a bird’s life as colorful as his surroundings

Anyone who lived here in the early 1990s might remember a family consisting of a father, two sons and a menagerie of animals including a very sociable and talkative mynah bird named Tweezer Beezer.

Tweezer, as he was known to his friends, lived with Balazs Szabo and his sons Dominik and Sandor, a dog named Kapii and a cat named Dieselle. Rescued as a newly hatched chick after a hurricane in his native Hawaii where the Szabo family lived, Tweezer became a family pet and ultimately made the move to Wilton with them in 1990 and then to North Carolina in 1993. He survived being lost, being stepped on and having his leg broken, but ultimately succumbed in 1997. His family believed he was poisoned by pesticides applied to a neighbor’s lawn.

Tweezer’s life and how he affected the family have been captured in a book by Mr. Szabo aptly named Tweezer Beezer.

Tweezer “became part of my children’s childhood,” Mr. Szabo told The Bulletin this week. “He lived with us for nine years. “I had the idea after Tweezer died. He was so unique and so human.

“Once I sat down it flowed right out of me,” and despite the fact Tweezer died in the end, Mr. Szabo said the book “doesn’t end in total sadness.”

The book “has a teaching morality for children in school,” he said. “Tweezer was a victim” of the pesticide, “but many birds and creatures probably died that day” from the poison. The book makes the point, he said, that everyone must take care of the environment and all creatures who live in it.

Tweezer lived an eventful life, from an encounter with mongooses in Hawaii — from which he was saved by the family cat — to almost drowning in the family pool in Wilton. Through it all, Tweezer talked up a storm.

It was here the tame bird, who never lived in the wild, was left outside by accident one afternoon when the family went to the movies and became lost in the night. People reported on seeing a “strange bird” in the Bird Notes column in The Bulletin as Tweezer flew from neighborhood to neighborhood and eventually town to town, sometimes stopping in — literally — people’s homes. He was finally found, beaten up by a storm, by a man in Milford, miles away.

The family was happily reunited.

The book is filled with family photos and drawings, not only of Tweezer — including an X-ray of his broken leg — but of Dominik and Sandor, who were just school boys at the time, various family pets and even the park Mr. Szabo built at the end of their street, Marvin Ridge.

The boys are now grown men, 31 and 28, said Mr. Szabo, a painter, sculptor and writer of serious books, but the story of Tweezer still tugged at him. “I had to get Tweezer out of my heart,” Mr. Szabo said. “He made a big impression.”

The book may be purchased, and the first three chapters may be read for free, at Mr. Szabo said a YouTube video of a bird who speaks “just like Tweezer” may be found by searching “amazing talking mynah: conversation 1.”

“You can see the versatility of these birds,” Mr. Szabo said. “He brings my book to life.”