Munro-bagging parrot joins owner on mountain hikes

Lara Mitchell gets loads of attention as she hikes up peaks with African grey Piper perched on her shoulder.

A Munro-bagging parrot enjoys accompanying his owner on mountain hikes across Scotland.

Lara Mitchell, from Dundee, gets loads of attention as she hikes up peaks with her five-year-old African grey – Piper- perched on her shoulder.

Together they have climbed six Munros – with the chatty bird demanding to know ‘where’s the birds?’ to the astonishment of other mountaineers.

The cheeky pet has even tapped into the Old Firm rivalry and goads his Rangers-fan owner by yelling “C’mon the Hoops”.

Lara Mitchell with Piper, her five-year-old African grey parrot.SWNS via SWNS

Lara, 51, hopes to climb the UK’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, accompanied by Piper this summer.

So far the pair have scaled six, including Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms, Highlands, Ben Lomond, also Highlands, Ben Chonzie, near Crieff, Perth and Kinross, and Mount Keen, Aberdeenshire. 

Healthcare assistant, Lara, began taking Piper out on a harness when she went to the shops three years ago.

She realised he loved being outdoors, and that Munro-bagging prompted Piper to talk more.

Now he has learned to call her from the Amazon Alexa leaving five minute voicemails – and Lara said he ‘never shuts up’ about adventures.

Together they have climbed six Munros.SWNS via SWNS

But the weather has to be good for a hike otherwise Piper vocally objects.

Lara said: “I always wanted a parrot, but Piper never shuts up – especially since I took him up a Munro.

“He just loves the outdoors. I think he is just so content when he is up a hill and up in the air. 

“I got him a harness and started taking him out walks and to the supermarket when I was doing my shopping. 

“Then I thought ‘I’ve never seen a parrot up a Munro’ so once I got him used to his harness I took him up with me. 

“The harness is about 80 feet long, so he can fly about if he likes, but he just sits on my shoulder as we go up. 

“Now he loves it.

“When he sees my getting the harness ready he starts shouting ‘adventure, adventure’.

“It’s hard work for him going up the hill, he needs strong upper body strength. 

“He sleeps all night after a Munro.”

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