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Video: UFC’s Calvin Kattar becomes best friend with wild bird, becomes ‘bird whisperer’

Calvin Kattar formed the most unusual of friendships with a wild bird on his way to training last week.

This is a story you don’t hear about every day, especially not in the MMA sphere.

Last week, UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar became best friends with a random bird he crossed paths with on the street, and he posted the entire heart-warming encounter on Instagram in a video that quickly went viral.

Speaking to MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee, Kattar said he formed the most unusual of friendships with the bird when he was on his way to help teammate and fellow UFC fighter Rob Font prepare for his upcoming bout with Raphael Assuncao at UFC 226 on July 7.

“Before I knew it, right as I was finishing my sandwich, this bird rolled up on me and posted up next to me as you saw in the videos and I was just like, ‘Wow,’” said Kattar. “I got up to go to my car and it followed me, started running, like a bunch of small steps following me and I was like, this is kind of crazy. I walked backwards, it followed me all around, I sat back down, it went on my arm, and then all of a sudden I started going live on the video.”

Having formed an instant bond with the bird, which Kattar later nicknamed ‘Robin’, the Massachusetts-born fighter took his chirpy friend home and fed it dinner.

“I put my arm out in front of it, I’m like, alright, if the bird hops on my arm, I’ll take it with me; if it doesn’t, I’m outta here. I put my hand out, the bird jumps on my arm, I’m like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” said Kattar. “I brought it in my car and I ended up going back to my house and then I realized it looked like it was chirping and opening its mouth like it was hungry.

“So I went out back to the yard and started digging up worms for it and then I realized, what the hell am I doing right now digging up worms? I’m just going to go buy it some worms.”

Instead of attending training practice that day, 30-year-old Kattar ended up buying his new-found friend a ‘whole bunch of sh-t’ including a cage, a bird bath, and a toy.

“I couldn’t leave it,” Kattar said. “I felt like it needed me to feed it. I was like, ‘Guys, I’m sorry, I can’t make it to the gym.’ At this point I’m 20-30 minutes late to the gym and I’m gonna miss this workout, I’ll meet up with them later in the next session. And before I knew it, I missed the next session, because after I ended up going to pick out some worms, I ended up going back to the store because it wasn’t leaving me and it was eating all the food. I gotta get this thing a cage or something, some kind of home, I didn’t know what to do.

“I spent like 40-50 dollars on a cage — and by the way, this all with the bird on my shoulder walking into the store — and these people are looking at me like I’m crazy, I’ve got a wild bird on my shoulder. They think it’s like a pet.”

After eating dinner with Robin, Kattar left him out on the porch overnight with the cage door open. To his surprise, Robin had decided to stay the night but later flew off and didn’t return. Kattar, who trains out of Team Sityodtong in Somerville, went back to the sandwich shop hoping for a reunion with Robin, but the bird didn’t show.

Kattar, however, hasn’t given up on his feathered friend and has left the cage door open on his porch in case Robin returns.

The top-fifteen featherweight contender said he received hundreds of direct messages on Instagram after posting the story, with many followers wishing him luck on a reunion with Robin.

“I must have got a couple hundred followers, a couple hundred direct messages, I couldn’t even keep up with the people asking about the bird,” Kattar said. “The next day, I put up a workout video and everyone was like, ‘Bro. Less gym. More bird.’”

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