Meet the barking parrot

Military macaw, Jalisco, Mexico

Every few days we are privileged to be visited by this handsome fellow. My friend Lisa in Ontario tells me it’s a type of parrot called a Military Macaw. Wikipedia agrees.

The routine is always the same. The parrot swoops into the top of the 6-story eucalyptus tree that towers over our house, and announces his arrival with a series of imperious bleats and squawks.

The second the bird fires up, Archie sprints up to the balcony railing (Thanks God he’s sure footed, because it’s about an 8-metre drop off the other side) and lets off round after round of insane barking. It’s deafening. The bird bleating, the dog barking. The ruckus goes on for along time, because Jack Russell Terriers never give up on anything. Ever. And in this case, Archie seems to think he’s got a good shot of intimidating the bird into flying down to the ground and surrendering.


Military macaw, Jalisco, Mexico

That splash of color in the top left corner is the parrot. You’ve got him on the ropes now, Archie!

Yesterday’s game began normally, but then the parrot began…well, I swear it began barking. Mimicking Archie. It got to be a proper conversation,  where Archie would bark once and the the parrot would answer back with what really did sound like a bark. Back and forth they went….”bark, squawk, bark, squawk, bark, squawk, bark, squawk.” Except, as I said, the squawks now sounded uncannily like barks.

Speaking in a second language is tiring, so after barking for about 10 minutes, the parrot apparently had enough and off he flew.

Next time he drops by for a chat with Archie, I’ll try to get a video for you.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Keith April 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Hah! As bird owners we know all too well that Parrot, macaws and others are great at mimicking sounds. Now your neighbours can enjoy the barking in stereo! 🙂

Miss you guys and hope you’re loving it in Mexico.

Keith, Tina, and Serena


2 Renee April 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hey, nice to hear from you! Do you guys have a bird now? We are loving Mexico, thanks. You should come for a visit.


3 Syd April 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Funny! You crack me up. Hope we have the opportunity to meet you in Ajijic before you move on. Three weeks until we arrive!


4 Renee April 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hehe. Syd, we’ll be around until mid-summer. Shoot me an email when you get here, okay? renee (at) Three weeks to go…You must be getting excited!!!


5 Kerri @ Travel Junkies April 14, 2013 at 3:04 am

That is great! I am looking forward to the video!


6 Renee April 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks, Kerri! My video camera is prepped and stashed near the terrace. Now I’m just waiting for the macaw to show up in our tree at a good time. He’s either been coming too early in the morning or perching in the neighbor’s tree where I can’t see him. He teases Archie from there. Poor Archie is going nuts.


7 Alyson April 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm

That’s gorgeous! I was going to say, put it on You Tube. We used to have minah ( ?sp) birds in our garden that mimicked the guinea pig, now sadly deceased.


8 Renee April 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

Wow, Alyson! Haha, I didn’t even know that guinea pigs made noise. And mynahs in the garden? How awesome! Where were you living?


9 Tonya April 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Oh my goodness! That is hilarious. I’m sure it gets old, but reading your account and imagining it in my head, coupled with your photos really make me smile.

My grandmother had a parrot and it was the most obnoxious creature. I bet you’re glad this one just pops in for a visit and doesn’t stick around. 🙂


10 Renee April 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Yes, Tonya, he’s wonderful but quite loud, especially at 6 am. 🙂


11 Annie André April 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

Very cute and funny too. Would love to see a video of that. My daughter thinks animals can speak to one another. She asked me how pigeons talk. I told her they talk by moving their heads back and forth. The next thing i know, she was at the local town centre walking like a pigeon. She came up to me and said, ” mommy, i was talking to the pigeons in their language but they did not understand me”. LOL..


12 Renee April 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm

That’s funny, Annie. I love kids and their crazy ways. 🙂 I’m trying to get a video of the bird..he’s outside now in fact…but he hasn’t been barking. Just shouting at my dog


13 Molly May 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

LOL, LOL. Seriously funny, definitely get a video 🙂


14 Renee May 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Molly…he’s gone! I tried to get a video. It tuned out poorly so I deleted it, but now we haven’t seen the parrot in weeks. I miss him. 🙁


15 Lisa (in Ontario) June 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I just saw this post now. I’ve been a bad blog reader (and an even worse writer) lately. It won’t come as a surprise that it was actually Bioboy who ID’d the bird — I can’t take any credit, lol. Great photo of it!


16 Renee June 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Thanks! I sure wish BioBoy were here. We have tons of fantastical-colored birds flying overhead but I have no idea what they are. An expert is needed!


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