Erin adopted her rainbow lorikeet, Keegan, in April 2009. He was very much her bird but we considered him part of the family - and a Happy Hamby Camper!
In Nick's words Keegan was so camp, he laid an egg! Political incorrectness aside, that miraculous event happened late last year but by then Keegan was well and truly considered a boy and it was too hard to start thinking of him as a her.
Keegan made his first camping trip (to the Watagans) in October 2009. In those days, Anton the cockatiel also came camping.
Anton learned to imitate the calls of the satin bowerbird and it is a running joke that Keegan was a multi-lingual bird who spoke lorikeet with a cockatiel accent! (Erin's TAFE classmates were skeptical when she described the differences of his vocalisation - until they met him)!
Rainbow lorikeets have a natural range along coastal areas but Keegan travelled further inland than his native cousins. He spent a fair bit of time in south-west Queensland, which presented some challenges for him as he really didn't like flies!
During the heat, Keegan enjoyed frequent water-bottle mistings, though he would often attempt to bathe in his water dish - prompting Erin to fill a larger "bath" for him to splash about in.
He was keen to share whatever Erin was eating/drinking. Tea, fruit juice and the occasional sip of soft drink (though he didn't like the bubbles). Ice cream was a favourite and we all giggled when his bristle-tongue took on a blue tinge after sampling a lollypop!
If Erin had a lollypop and didn't share, he would become stroppy.
Usually Keegan travelled in his cage, seated between Erin and Vaughan. He rode on top of Oscar's cat carrier for our Yowah trip last year.
(The two of them were tent buddies at Deniliquin when Elmer broke down on the way home).
When Nissa joined our trips, Erin would nurse Keegan's cage. More recently Bandit has been using the middle of the back seat while Keegan travelled in the rear cargo area.
He coped well with our long distance trips - and we soon learned to anticipate his noisy shrieking in wet weather, when the wipers squeaked over the windscreen!
For a small bird, Keegan had a lot of character. He would play peek-a-boo with Nick - and copy simple rhythms tapped on the table edge. He was a big fan of tummy tickles and Erin would often take him into the shower where he liked to roll in the puddles!
Keegan loved paper bags and tissue boxes. He was gently laid to rest in a carefully chosen tissue box with paper bag covering.