Saturday, May 21, 2022

Flying free in the hills of Bukit Antarabangsa

Macaw owners gather to allow their pets the freedom they believe they deserve.

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As the birds are well trained, they always return to their owners when they are called.

Freefly member Izmil Zulkipli interacts with his macaw, one of two which he raised himself.

Aboo (left) is a Hahn’s macaw while Oobi (right) is a chestnut-fronted macaw.

While macaws are fond of snacking on nuts, Aboo loves trying other food as well – even nasi lemak.

A Catalina macaw, also known as the blue and gold macaw, holds a walnut in one claw.

Macaws take off from their owners’ shoulders in a flurry of brilliant colour at the freefly session in Bukit Antarabangsa.

Two blue-throated macaws return to their owner after a few turns in the open air.

Another blue and gold macaw looks for its owner among the crowd of people.

The Kuala Lumpur Freefly group believes that birds should be allowed to fly freely instead of being cooped up in the house or cage all the time.

Each bird is fitted with a ring bearing its name and the owner’s phone number, just in case it gets lost.

An African grey, one of the rarer medium-sized birds, sits on its owner’s shoulder.

Another mid-sized bird, the parakeet, perches on a stick. Parakeets are one of the hardest macaws to train.

A cockatiel perches on its owner’s fingers. Cockatiels are easier to own as they do not require a licence or permit.

Members of the Kuala Lumpur Freefly group laugh as they release their birds for a quick flight at Bukit Antarabangsa.

Sometimes, macaws like this one do not come back even when called. This is always a risk, as they could end up being chased by bigger birds such as eagles.

A flock of macaws are silhouetted against the sun.

Back at home, Izmil feeds Aboo using a syringe.

Since Oobi is still considered a teenager in bird years, he gets fed through a tube instead.

Aboo and Oobi live in a large cage at the back of Izmil’s house.

Aboo gets a kiss after taking his bath.

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