Parrot pundit sees decisive victory for All Blacks tomorrow but a hard slog for the Springboks against Wales

"Hello" is about as far as his vocabulary stretches but Richie the Macaw lets his stomach do the squawking.

The colourful clairvoyant displays a real affection for cashews and almonds and when these nuts are mixed with seed and fruit Richie appears to see things. Rugby-related things.

He is our parrot pundit - the Herald's 2015 Rugby World Cup prophet.

And the good news is he picked the All Blacks over France, again and again and again.


The green-winged macaw is owned by Ron Dykman, a regular customer of the Bird Barn Pet Store in Auckland.

It was at this family-owned pet shop in Henderson that I first met Richie.

Also known as a red-and-green macaw, his striking tropical colours, cheeky swagger, and sharp-pointed beak exude confidence.

Not to mention his far-seeing eyes - two beady crystal balls, ringed in white, full of wisdom.

Richie's species originates in Central and South America and can live up to 60-80 years in captivity, showing the 2-year-old West Aucklander is certainly wise beyond his years.

The Bird Barn has been owned by the Jones family - Ameera, Alan, David and Davey - for 35 years.

The Joneses introduced a Herald photographer, videographer and I to the feathered fortune-teller this week.

He stood tall, his talons clinging to the arm of Ruby Scott-Smith, 23, who has worked at the pet store for about six years.


The pair seemed to hold a special bond - eat seeds from my mouth, kiss on the beak sort of special.

"You should try it too," Ruby kindly suggested. A coward, I fed him a shelled peanut by hand instead.

Richie will be predicting the results of the Rugby World Cup knockout games for the next few weeks, and started with tomorrow morning's first quarter-final between South Africa and Wales.

He was placed on a wooden perch, with flag-adorned bowls of seed, fruit and nuts to his left and right.

After approaching the South African bowl, Richie the Macaw moved past it and hovered to the side - leaving the game open. Just.

With Wales barely hanging on, he returned to the middle. This time Richie went back to the Springbok bowl straight away and ate, suggesting a late win for South Africa despite a strong performance throughout.


However, when it came to the next game - the All Blacks v France - he wasted no time at all. He moved to his left almost immediately and began nibbling from the bowl carrying the New Zealand flag.

Then to show how confident he was in his decision, he went back for more. Tomorrow the Herald on Sunday will reveal Richie's predictions for Monday's quarter-finals.

Richie's picks

Richie the Macaw's 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final choices:

Quarter-Final 1:

South Africa v Wales


Richie picked South Africa to beat Wales.



He approaches the South African bowl from the start, but passes over it. Hesitating near it, he doesn't take the plunge. When returned to the middle, he makes his way back to the Springbok bowl immediately, this time to eat.


A game that is largely dominated by the Springboks, but not secured until the late stages of the second half.

Quarter-Final 2: New Zealand v France
Result: Richie picked New Zealand to beat France.
Behaviour: Adamant in his decision, he goes back to the New Zealand bowl several times to eat.
Meaning: A convincing win by the All Blacks. A high-scoring victory, leaving no doubts.

• Tomorrow the Herald on Sunday will reveal Richie's predictions for Monday's quarter-finals.