Friday, 23 March 2012
I thought I was dreaming this morning - that I had fallen back asleep after switching on the radio and Good Morning Scotland.
Because I heard an incredible news item about a parrot rescue centre on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland - Kerala.
'Kerela, I thought to myself - that's off the west coast of India - I must be dreaming!'
But silly me, I wasn't dreaming - the island is Kerrera - and it's off the coast off Oban and it's not April Fool's day either.
Because it really does have a parrot rescue centre - would you believe?
Scotland's one and only I imagine - or the world's gone even crazier than I think.
Anyway, the idea is that if people have had enough of looking after their parrtos - if they've been driven mad by the umpteenth greeting of - 'Who's a pretty boy then?'
The solution is to send your parrot off to Yvonne MacMillan - a Parrot Consultant would you believe - who runs her rehabilitation centre on Kerrera near Oban.
I promise I am not making this up - and here's a comment from Scotland's one and only Parrot Consultant (as far as I know) - who describes her work as follows:
“I realise there was desperately a need for more information so I started a website. I travel all over Scotland giving free advice and also bring birds up for boot camp, where they’re rehabilitated and get rid of some of their nastier habits.”
“Max (a parrot) came to me about seven or eight years ago. His owner had rescued him from a flat in Glasgow and he brought him in for me to look after because I was well versed with birds. The problem with Max is when he came in, he would not go home.
The secret to changing their behaviour is patience and lots of it…be willing to take a bite and not flinch. If you squeak or make a noise when they bite you, it reinforces that behaviour.”
All of which reminded me of the famous Dead Parrot sketch from the Monty Python team - which is brought to you below courtesy of You Tube.