Bird man Colin will always have feathered friends in his life

Colin, Oscar and Elmo's story is part of a series on Hawkesbury people and their pets, featuring the work of Gazette and Courier photographer, Geoff Jones.

COLIN Jawora is a bird man.

Between him and his wife Lynne there is a cat, dogs, fish and horses, but the birds have always been Colin's.

The Bligh Park resident is the proud owner of two eclectus parrots.

When he got the first, Oscar, the bird was so young his feathers hadn't come through yet.

"We drove up to Tamworth to meet the breeder and the guy got out of his car with a bucket and there was this tiny ball of skin sitting in there. Lynne said 'I'm not paying $500 for that!'" Colin said.

"I said 'don't worry babe, he's going to turn into a beautiful green bird'."

Colin had to spoon-feed Oscar for the first couple of weeks, he was so small.

Colin's budgerigar at the time, Skippy, would try to preen the younger bird's feathers to coax them out.

"Skippy was trying to help Oscar out and get his feathers started," Colin said.

Two years later, Oscar got a girlfriend, a female eclectus parrot named Elmo, who had been hand-raised and already had all her plumage.

As soon as Lynne goes to touch Elmo, the bird says 'don't bite mummy!'

Colin Jawora

"We introduced them and they basically got on right from the word go," Colin said.

"Elmo started laying a lot of eggs and I used to check on them and she'd get cranky if there was nothing in them and I'd take them away from her," Colin said.

"But she finally had one fertilised and after I handed it back to her, within three weeks it hatched, and in the end she had a baby boy."

The boy, named O'Malley, was given to Colin and Lynne's good friends the Flanagans of Grose Vale.

Oscar and Elmo's favourite food is celery.

"I don't know why but they just love it," Colin said.

Elmo is the boss of the bird cage, and doesn't like any females - including Lynne - entering her abode.

"Whenever you give them any fresh fruit, Elmo gets the first bite, and Oscar has to settle for the scraps, the poor bugger," Colin said.

"And Elmo won't let Lynne touch her. As soon as Lynne goes to touch her, Elmo says 'don't bite mummy!' and she laughs the exact same laugh as Lynne; as soon as other people hear it, they crack up."