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Mimi and Archie nearly four years later

June 10, 2017

Archie and Mimi looking out for each other.

On Friday (June 9) I had the pleasure of seeing Archie and Mimi for the the first time in nearly four years.

Archie is a vivid blue and yellow macaw, a species of neotropical, or New World, parrot. Mimi is a resident of the Fairview neighbourhood who happens to be Archie’s particular friend and owner.

When I first spoke to the pair, in July of 2013, Archie had been in Mimi’s care for six years. That makes Archie at least 10 years old now—which is not even middle-aged for a macaw, given that they can live up to 35 years in the wild.

One of Fairview’s finer feathered friends

Archie, resplendent in his neotropical finery, strikes a pose.

I just happened to be binning for returnable beverage containers in the alley where Mimi was putting out some recycling on this warm Friday afternoon. Archie apparently tagged along with her to be companionable and to stretch his legs.

Mimi explained that the bird enjoys walking along the top of the low concrete wall leading to the recycling blue bins in the alley behind their building.

“It’s the only exercise he gets”, she confided.

Woody the cat loves Archie—like family, I guess, rather than like a buffet item.

As Archie preened himself atop the concrete wall I noted the approach of a white-footed, grey tabby cat but Mimi said not to worry, that was Woody—a new addition to the family since I had last seen her and Archie in 2013.

After a fashion, cats tend to be quite fond of birds and for their part, birds tend to react to the presence of cats. Woody, however, took no particular notice of the brightly plumed parrot and vice versa.

Familiarity can also breed comfort and contentment.

The silent treatment—just like the last time

Archie eyes me coolly as he sits still for his closeup.

As I noted in 2013, macaws are renowned for their ability to learn and repeat human speech. This amazing facility is apparently a function of the emotional bond and the trust which can form between bird and owner.

A happy, trusting macaw will focus its attention completely on what its owner says and work hard (constantly dilating its pupils as it does so) to learn repeated words and phrases.

In 2013 I saw and heard Archie talking a blue streak to Mimi. All the same, he wouldn’t give me the time of day.

This year I again received the silent treatment. Not one word out of the bird.

Happily though, he trusted me just enough to pose for pictures. Click the images to enlarge them.

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