HE may not fly much, but Mr T is one well-travelled bird.
The blue and gold macaw goes shopping with his owner Cheryl-Lee McLean, he enjoys regular walks on a harness around Risdon Brook Dam and he gets to pick out his own toys when he visits the pet shop.
The one-year-old macaw has also ridden on the back of a motorbike and had his photo taken with Santa.
“He goes everywhere with me,” Mrs McLean said.
She takes Mr T to work with her each day in the Claremont camera shop her parents own.
Mr T does tricks for customers — putting coins in a money box is one of his favourites — and his vocabulary of about 25 words is growing.
The shop has regular “bird damaged” stock sales of items the bird takes a fancy to. Mr T weighs one kilo and is about one metre long to the tip of his tail feathers.
Mrs McLean, 35, grew up with pet budgies and cockatoos but it was during a trip to South America with her husband that she fell in love with colourful macaws.
“I’d always loved birds and when I went to Peru and down the Amazon the birds were just a fantastic sight,” she said.
Mrs McLean now has about 50 birds. However, Mr T is one of only four who live inside the house, in a loungeroom enclosure her friends call the “Taj Mahal for birds”.
From the moment Mrs McLean got Mr T from a breeder in Mole Creek she has had him out socialising.
The macaw regularly visits supermarkets with Mrs McLean.
He sits in a dog carrier in the trolley with the groceries and often comes out to say hello to curious shoppers.
“A 10-minute shopping trip sometimes takes two hours because people want to stop and look at him and ask 50 billion questions,” she said.
Mrs McLean has a special clause in her will for Mr T, who is likely to outlive her as macaws can reach 100 years.
Story and photo courtesy www.themercury.com.au
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