Fancy a flappuccino? This quirky parrot will serve you coffee

Kara the parrot really takes the ­biscuit as the UK’s wackiest ­barista.

The seven-year-old ­African grey is the squawk of the town at a coffee shop run by owners ­Gordon Stirling and partner Stuart Lilley.

When someone says “good morning” and asks for a cappuccino, Kara, as you might expect, responds in parrot fashion.

She asks customers how they are and even teases their dogs.

And visitors to Laggan Stores Coffee Bothy & Gallery, near Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands, love her.

Kara the parrot – takes the biscuit with her high flying career aspirations


Stuart says: “She is very good business and popular with locals and tourists alike.

“People think it’s a bit quirky and she loves being the centre of attention. She mimics phrases like, ‘Good Morning, how are you?’ She winds up the dogs and then they get into trouble for going up to her cage – and get told off!

“After work she joins us for walks. We carry her in a special rucksack and at first other hikers think she must be a dog. They get quite a shock when they realise we are out with our parrot.”

But Kara is never let out of her special carry case on walks as she would be easy prey for the local eagle and buzzard populations. Stuart adds: “We even have to be very careful with her in the shop.

Kara the barista parrot
Head to the Scottish highlands for a coffee with a twist


“Her cage is padlocked because if the door were to accidentally open and she was to fly out of the shop we would lose her.

“African greys are very demanding. It is like looking after a five-year-old. They are harder work than a dog.”

Stuart, who hails from Derbyshire, worked for Tesco for 32 years before he and Gordon – both 49 – bought the coffee shop last year. Gordon had been redundant from his job in local government.

They have had Kara since she was 16 weeks old. While she is kept in her cage in the shop she is allowed upstairs after closing time to fly free – until bedtime.

At seven years old, Kara is a mere youngster. African Grey parrots can live to 70 in captivity and are regularly kept by people, and are prized for their ability to mimic human speech. One bird which escaped in Japan was returned home after repeating the owner’s name and address.

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