Parrot Biker spotted on Campbell Avenue

Posted on April 14, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Philosophy, Travel |

I’m not kidding about this. The human driver had WWI aviator glasses, a cigar in his mouth, a vest, safari pants, a kerosene lantern slung about his waist, spats or gaiters, and clinging to his back…a full sized parrot! I’ve experienced a lot of interesting people during my time on this wonderful and weird planet, but hadn’t seen quite that combination of features before. As I came up behind him, in the lane to his left, my first thought was he had a green aviator scarf about his neck. As I got closer, it occurred to me that his scarf was rather bird-shaped. Then…”it looks like he’s got a stuffed parrot slung across his shoulders” (cue the “Monty Python” music—was I suddenly in Ipswich? Bolton? Notlob?) As we both stopped at the light, the parrot turned its head and looked at me. The thing moved! It was a not-dead parrot!

The bird seemed completely content, not appearing to desire to go anywhere or do anything other than cling to this strange fellow’s back, and ride. The biker drove slowly, and the parrot could have hopped or flown away any time.

The man and bird continued up the road, while I turned west toward my home in another town. I’d just come from yet another committee meeting. Many people, at this point, might go on home—perhaps shaking their head a little—and discuss it with their friends the next day. They might try “Googling” this interesting pair (I did!) and then put the episode behind them. Being me, however, I had to pay attention to any symbolism this held for me. This man and his parrot might be local eccentrics (every town has them), but I’m the sort of person that believes that if something really commands my attention, it must have a message for me. I’ve only known one or two parrots personally, and found them friendly, intelligent and affectionate. When I lived in Hawaii, I visited a protected park where the parrots would eat out of our hands.

I learned that parrots symbolised various things in different cultures: Bringer of essential rain and seed; heraldry; symbol of wisdom and of good counsel; good luck; known to repeat what they heard; distinguished service; the ability to communicate.

Motorcyclists, at least in my culture, have a bit of a reputation as rebellious free thinkers. I don’t own a cycle, and don’t expect to, but I do have that “born to be wild” side πŸ™‚

I arrived home pleased with my day; my week; my life. I felt supported yet free. And my search results? I have not been able to find anyone who knows who this fellow is, but he has been seen around the area. I saw him after dark, and was not completely sure he wasn’t an illusion. I did find this from a fellow blogger, who links to a picture of Biker Bird and Dude in the Daylight. Yep, that’s them alright!

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6 Responses to “Parrot Biker spotted on Campbell Avenue”

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haha, i wondered how round your eyes got when you saw the parrot moved. πŸ˜› next time, say hi to the parrot and the biker! maybe you could get into a conversation with him and find out all about the fascinating parrot. πŸ™‚

Very round, sulz! My eyes nearly popped out of my head! I’m glad I had my foot firmly on the brake. If I do see the two of them again, I’ll wave…he didn’t really look like he wanted to engage in conversation, though. πŸ˜•

Bizarre though that is, the guy looks pretty cool, with his parrot buddy on his shoulder!

I never realised parrots had so much symbolism attatched to them.

Hi Bobby, I agree, I think he is way cool. I wouldn’t like the situation at all if I felt the parrot was being harmed in any way, but the bird seemed content, and at ease. In fact when we were stopped at the light, he took the opportunity to clean his toe!
If you want to look for it, most animals and many plants have symbolic meaning to some people. Ultimately it may matter—or not, but I enjoy probing these things. πŸ™‚

A friend of mine has a ring-necked parakeet. She has a French flair in dress, and wanders the city with the parakeet on her shoulder. The bird is very friendly and chatty, surprising many onlookers. If you’re taller, the bird will move to your shoulder for a better view. As long as your shirt colour doesn’t clash. If certain birds, like bald eagles, are around, the bird likes to hide under her jacket. He’s very curious and likes cream cheese, happily raiding your lunch if he gets a chance. Such birds are very long lived. And one reason they don’t fly away is because they can’t. Owners keep their wings clipped.

Good reason from what I’ve seen. Twice in my life I’ve encountered, and once experienced, an escaped bird. They don’t have the skills to protect themselves. That said, my budgie was certainly thrilled with the great wide outdoors at first.

Loved your parakeet story—LOL “as long as your shirt color didn’t clash.” I had a friend who had a cockatiel companion who liked to nuzzle my (and I assume other people’s) neck. You make a good point about the clipped wings. It wouldn’t have been a good decision for my new parrot friend to move off his chauffeur.


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