I know I said I’d talk about jellyfish in my next post, but let’s pretend I didn’t, because I want to talk about a parrot, instead.
So, I went to this bar in Mallorca one night, with Piers, his sister and brother-in-law.
We were seated next to a parrot.
It was working hard at being the centre of attention by squawking very loudly and jumping around its rope toys, swinging wildly as it clung on to them.
We realised after a while that it wasn’t chained and was quite free to go anywhere it wanted. But it seemed quite happy to stay on its little tree plant.
A man, a customer of the bar, went up to the parrot and, amazingly, managed to coax the parrot onto his arm, then shoulder, by whispering sweet nothings to it.
The man thought he had the parrot charmed.
But the parrot had other ideas. It hopped onto the man’s shoulder and starting attacking the man’s glasses.
Not too amused, the man gently told the parrot off and made it go back to its tree plant.
My group urged me to get the parrot on my shoulder, too. I would be safe, they said, because I don’t wear glasses. So, after some hesitation and one giant cocktail, I went up to give it the old college try.
But allow me to digress first because giant cocktail!
As you can see, my cocktail was a lot more impressive than the other drinks on the table. And it has sparklies. And tropical fruit!
It’s called a Hawaiian Volcano.
Piers and Humfrey were quite jealous so they ordered their own awesomesaurus cocktail for seconds. I think their ones were a bit less impressive, but they had straws a mile long each, so their straws win.
So, back to the parrot.
I went up to it and looked at it with what I hoped was a benign expression. It looked back at me quizzically.
I offered it my arm (but rather tentatively, for I anticipated a surprise violent peck or two). It didn’t accept. It looked away. It looked at its food bowl, at the tree branches, at the ceiling. Anywhere but at me and my arm.
Defeated, I decided to just take some close-up photographs.
I don’t think it liked that very much. It started walking away.
As I followed it with my camera, it kept walking, up and down the branches, left and right, but all the time keeping a wary eye on the camera.
After it had finished its tour of every branch on the tree, it came back to its favourite perch, the food bowl, and stared at my camera challenging.
I continued snapping while it held that still pose.
And, then, with a super fast motion, it lunged at the camera. Before I even knew what was happening, it had got hold of the camera strap with its beak.
It started chewing. I mean, really chewing. You could see the movement of beak and tongue, and the tip of the leather strap getting mushed up.
The other patrons in the bar laughed. I continued snapping photos while at the same time trying to rescue my strap without using too much force.
After about 20 seconds, it let go. Whether it was because my strap didn’t taste to its satisfaction or because my gentle tugging was annoying it, I will never know.
Then it scooted off to its ropey playground and squawked merrily, swinging on the ropes without a care in the world.
There was another free-range parrot on the premises but it didn’t attract as much attention because it was asleep most of the night and perched high up on a tree so that it blended in with the colourful surroundings.
I totally want a parrot now. They’re so entertaining!
Here’s a video of a parrot mimicking phone calls. It’s the same breed as the one I saw in Mallorca, an African Grey!
Our parrot wasn’t that chatty, though. It mostly just squawked and occasionally said hello.
By the way, in case you want to know, the bar is called Cheeki Tiki and they have Sky Sports, which is the reason we went there in the first place, because the boys wanted to watch England vs Ukraine.
If you had a parrot, what would you teach it to say?