Chatterbox parrot enjoys accompanying his owner on mountain hikes through Scotland and beyond

·3-min read

A chatterbox parrot has been accompanying his owner on mountain hikes - shouting 'adventure, adventure' in anticipation and goading her about the football.

Lara Mitchell, 51, gets bags of attention as she hikes up Munros accompanied by African grey parrot Piper, aged five, perched on her shoulder.

Together they have climbed six Munros - with the gobby pet demanding to know 'where's the birds?' to the astonishment of other mountaineers.

The footie-mad bird has even tapped into the Old Firm rivalry and goads his Rangers-fan owner about it by yelling 'C'mon the Hoops'.

Munros are mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet and Lara hopes to climb the tallest, Ben Nevis, accompanied by Piper this summer.

They have already bagged Ben Macdui, in the Cairngorms, Highlands - the second highest mountain in Scotland.

Healthcare assistant Lara, from Dundee, began taking Piper out on a harness when she went to the shops three years ago.

She realised he loved being outdoors, and that Munro-bagging prompted Piper to talk more.

Now he has learnt to call her from the Amazon Alexa leaving five minute voicemails - and Lara said he 'never shuts up' about adventures.

But the weather has to be good for a hike otherwise Piper vocally objects.

Piper thrives on attention from other climbers, and sometimes shouts 'hello' at passersby.

Lara said: "I always wanted a parrot, but Piper never shuts up - especially since I took him up a Munro.

"He just loves the outdoors. I think he is just so content when he is up a hill and up in the air. 

"I got him a harness and started taking him out walks and to the supermarket when I was doing my shopping. 

"Then I thought 'I've never seen a parrot up a Munro' so once I got him used to his harness I took him up with me. 

"The harness is about 80 feet long, so he can fly about if he likes, but he just sits on my shoulder as we go up. 

"Now he loves it. 

"When he sees my getting the harness ready he starts shouting 'adventure, adventure'.

"It's hard work for him going up the hill, he needs strong upper body strength. 

"He sleeps all night after a Munro."

So far the pair have scaled six, including Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms, Highlands, Ben Lomond, also Highlands, Ben Chonzie, near Crieff, Perth and Kinross, and Mount Keen, Aberdeenshire. 

Lara added: "It is very weather dependent for him though. 

"He doesn't like wind or rain, he starts making stupid noises if this happens. 

"He absolutely loves it though, the amount of attention he receives. 

"People stop us constantly, telling us they have never seen anything like it. 

"I let them hold him and get pictures if they like. 

"When we were going up Ben Lomond he shouted hello to a woman and she thought it was me.

"He never shuts up. I tell people but they do not believe me. 

"When I go out I get phone calls, and it's him phoning my mobile from the Alexa.  

"If I ignore it he leaves five-minute voicemails. 

"He loves football, although he knows I'm a Rangers fan and shouts 'C'mon the Hoops' to wind me up. 

"When we are climbing the Munros he'll just constantly shout 'Wheres the birds?'.

"I'm planning on doing Ben Nevis with him but the weather is so changeable up there you don't know what's ahead of you.

"I'll hopefully get that done this summer."

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