Free Flying Pet Parrots
The skies above Chaddesdon in Derbyshire are being lit up with a splash of bright colour. Bobby the Macaw flies freely around the neighbourhood but always returns home to his dedicated owner, Jonathan Li.
5 Years of Training
Li has spent 5 years training his British-bred bird. He used an elasticated lead to teach his much-loved pet to return home and now Bobby is allowed to spend as much time outdoors as he wishes. The Parrot is a familiar sight around the town and the locals enjoy seeing him soaring above them and eating fruit from their trees.
Georgie and Jenny
Jonathan Li also owns two Gallahs called Georgie and Jenny which he now permits to take short flights above his home. Gallahs are Australian birds which are about the size of a wood pigeon and so are much smaller than the Macaw. But they still make for a dramatic sight.
Bobby enjoys an incredible amount of freedom. He can go out in the morning and not return until after dark. People have reported seeing him as far as four miles from home. Those who spot Bobby are often so delighted that they post pictures of him on social media. The Gallahs, on the other hand, tend to stay closer to home and to take shorter flights. They are flock birds with trusting natures who don’t feel threatened by other birds and people. Bobby is more suspicious and tends to sit high up in the trees.
The incredible pets were raised from chicks by Mr Li and were introduced to the outside world gradually. He is anxious to stress that Parrots do not make easy pets as they are highly demanding and can live for up to 70 years. Parrots which fly free sound like a wonderful idea but it takes great skill and years of dedication to train the birds so that they will return home.
Out and About
Mr Li still worries about Bobby when he is out for a long period of time, but the parrot does usually return home without being prompted – eventually! He now has his own Facebook page where local people report their sightings and Bobby is learning to trust some people enough to take food from them. Apparently he is very fond of bananas.
You wouldn’t expect to see a wonderful scarlet macaw flying free in Derbyshire but Bobby is certainly a fabulous sight. He is now something of a celebrity and perhaps Georgie and Jenny will become stars of the sky too .