Couple allow their two giant pet macaws to regularly fly free outside

Nimal and Claire with Mikey and Mia
Nimal and Claire with Mikey and Mia. Image: My London.

The top advice on the internet is to not let a parrot fly freely around open spaces outside the home but to keep them on a harness. One site says that a parrot might fly off for a variety of reasons such as noise or curiosity. ‘All About Parrots’ say that parrots often “go missing because they fly to freedom when outside with their owners. Even if the parrot isn’t intent on abandoning you, it may take to the air and be unable to find its way home.”

All the more reason why this video is interesting. It goes against the grain and what one might think is safe. More research revealed to me that what this couple have is exceptional. Both their macaws – large parrots – are taken outside to free-fly regularly and the always circle and return. It is obviously very good for them. Very stimulating. Parrots are intelligent. They need mental stimulation.

You can train parrots to fly as you see in the video and not disappear. It seems that this is what has happened with this couple. There has been informal and probably formal and extensive training over a long time.

They take them for ‘daily walks’. The couple are Nimal Fernando and Claire Atallah, both 34-years-of-age. The birds are Mikey and Mia. They live in Bedfordshire, UK.

They first lived with the macaws in Wimbledon, on the outskirts of London. Their experiences of living with macaws are certain to put anyone off who has an inkling of an idea to live with one. Don’t do it unless you are dedicated.

Mikey and Mia are trained to stay on the arms of Nimal and Claire when walking outside. Claire loves parrots. Nimal, originally from New Zealand, says that their lives would be very different without the macaws. You bet!

They adopted Mikey via Facebook and adopted Mia 18 months later. The first months in caring for them were very difficult as it appears to have been a step learning process.

Nimal says that a lot of people abandon parrots because they are too demanding and they don’t know how to care for them.

“There is a huge problem of them being given up as people just don’t understand how to look after them. They are extremely hard to care for. We didn’t realise the noise these birds make; they are extremely loud at all times of the day.”

They learned about nutrition and bit by bit became parrot experts. You can see the difficulties for parrot caregivers. And, frankly, you can see the problem for neighbours too! The noise. That’s going to be potential neighbour complaint and dispute, right there.

Parrots make a lot of mess too.

“Nothing can prepare you for the mess. The mess gets to another level. And they break a lot of things. We’ve had three flat-screen TVs broken, the majority of our clothes have holes in and we’ve lost our deposit on most places we’ve rented!”

Having struggled they have now come through to a brighter future. They have started their own bird food business called Mikey and Mia Dry Mix. Bravo. It has become successful and the business allows them the time and freedom to take Mikey and Mia to the wide-open spaces near their home for all four of them to have some fun in their own ways.

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Post Category: Birds