The mornings at our house see us doing different things.
My husband is an early riser, has some coffee and toast and does the first dog walk of the day.
Then I go down into the kitchen, make a pot of tea, and let the parrots out to rampage round the kitchen while I make my breakfast, cook for the evening and/or make some soup for lunch and generally do morning jobs in the kitchen.
Riko immediately goes to ‘his’ drawers, where his toys are kept:
Depending on the time of year he will either climb inside a drawer and ‘nest’ or throw out the toys he does not want today and leave his favourites.
The first thing Bafut does is to swarm over to Riko’s cage and go inside: a kind of demonstration that no territory is off limits to him. A very big bird character in a small body!
He goes inside and inspects all Riko’s toys and food bowls looking for goodies and interesting things that we have given to Riko and not to him. As if we would! Then he grabs Riko’s food, which is exactly the same as his own and sits in the doorway holding it in one foot and eating away looking triumphant and not a little smug.
Riko then likes to wander along the bar in front of the Aga to sit and be nearer to me while I work: it is also nice and warm!
If I turn round and speak to him I get a verbal “hello” and the wing wave, which is parrot talk for an excited, warm greeting –
Bafut, meanwhile, once he has finished anything worth stealing from Riko’s cage moves onto the top of his own cage to watch all the wild birds, pheasants and the geese in the orchard. When he has had enough of that he moves to the front and lifts a foot, which means he wants to be picked up, “please”.
If I pick up one bird, I have to pick up the other, or he will fly over to me or clamber up my clothes. Bafut usually sits on my shoulder
and then, feeling safe, proceeds to preen
Riko joins in, but prefers to sit on my fingers to preen, and is very active too!
and combs it out, strand by strand, until I am tidy enough to pass his strict standards.
NB the odd item at the bottom of these pictures is the camera, I am standing in front of a mirror which is behind our cooker. The only way I can take these pictures of myself plus parrots.
Flute practice often follows the cooking, and also takes place in the kitchen. Bafut is not bothered by it, but Riko insists on sitting on my shoulder while I play. He is usually very good and quiet, except when I play staccato and/or fast or trills: then he stands up on tiptoes, flaps his wings and joins in with whistles, getting very excited. Nice to know that someone enjoys my practice!
And what about the rest of the household while the parrots and I range round the kitchen?
Well, dog usually retires to his bed, not particularly liking the flying activities of the birds and husband similarly retires, either to some job out of doors or to his study.
Then lunchtime beckons, birds go back ‘indoors’, dog and husband emerge, all eat, (the birds always love to eat in company and want to taste what we are having), dog has lunchtime snack and walk, and he and parrots settle down for an afternoon nap while husband and I do other things.