Tree surgeon goes to work with parrot
Michael Hickling’s work mate doesn’t get in a flap when the tree surgeon's on the job, but then again he is a yellow headed Amazon parrot.
Sammy happily sits on a branch while his best buddy is hard at work, but that doesn’t stop him pecking his head with his chatter.
And it’s not unusual to see them enjoying a pint together after work, as Michael and his feathered friend go everywhere together.
Whether it’s work, visiting the doctors, or popping down the pub this very odd couple are inseparable.
Locals living near Michael in Carlton, Nottingham, have grown used to seeing them strolling down the road together or enjoying a fry-up in a café.
He even takes Sammy along to open mic nights in local clubs where the singing bird has become something of a celebrity.
It all started eight years ago when Michael and Sammy teamed up after the bird’s owners said they could no longer look after him.
“My colleague was working at their house in Derbyshire and started talking to them about Sammy,” he said. “They said they were getting a little old for pets.
“She thought I’d be ideal, because I’m always up in trees and I always whistle to the birds. Sometimes they even fly over and sit with me!”
But don’t think for a moment Michael, 56, is Sammy’s owner, this is strictly a shared enterprise.
“I wouldn’t have him in a cage, he’s here for as long as he wants to be,” said Michael.
Sammy’s catchphrase is “Wa-hey” which he uses all the time in his distinctive Cockney accent, but he’s allowed as he did grow up in London.
Amongst the 46 year-old’s repertoire are Beatles’ hits, rock n roll classics like Chuck Berry, making car engine sounds and, of course as he lives with a tree surgeon, chainsaw noises
“Sammy’s great, he doesn’t peck my head much,” said Michael.
“In fact he doesn’t talk to me much. Like many parrots he tends to save it for people he doesn’t know that well. And he loves chatting with kids.
“But when we are driving to a job he does have a habit of talking, he’s a bit like my very own Sat Nav, except he’d rather sing than give directions.
“He sits on my shoulder sometime so he can look at the wing mirror, but I’m not sure if he’s checking the traffic or himself out!”
Michael admits that if he had known at the start how “full on” looking after his feathered friend would become he might not have taken him in.
But now he says he would find it hard to be without him and he proved that by turning down an offer of £3000 for his bird brained buddy.
“I don’t go on holiday, he comes everywhere with me, so I am tied to him,” he explained.
“He’s a pal who chooses to hang around with me, so I’m happy with things for as long as he is.
“My only worry is that Sammy’s breed can live until they’re in their 80s, by that time I’d be nearly 100, so I don’t think I’ll be climbing trees then!”
Source: The Telegraph