Beauty and the Beast, or "our life with Cockatoo"
by Hal May
For all of you thinking about getting a companion bird, first ask yourself “do I want a toddler for the rest of my life?”
I have often read that a bird chooses you; I have come to agree with that statement. I have looked back on the day we saw Lila, a medium sulphur crested Too in the cage with her sibling, both very beautiful and very trusting as it was the habit of the breeder to let her flock of babies out to swarm the new visitors in a very safe controlled environment, what a thrill it was to see so many beautiful birds that wanted to interact with new strange visitors, but as far as they knew everyone like birds, why would they think otherwise? As we stood and looked at the sibling Too’s the breeder said “would you like to hold one of them?” “Uh, Ok sure” I said. Well, that was when this sweet bird looked into our eyes and chose us to care for her every need, like a toddler for life.
She was out of our budget, so my spouse and I went to lunch and discussed it, we came back and told the breeder “we want the Too“ Now I suspect she knew this already since she had seen many of her babies chose many people over the years.Now,I will admit not long after she had easily settled into our home that the full impact of our decision hit us, a toddler for life?
WOW, what had we gotten ourselves into? But her sweet nature, intelligence, cuddly love and total trust in both of us removed any doubt if we had chosen the right bird.
The key is trust, instilling that trust early in life is critical for the bird’s successful future in a human home, or new home if something happens to you and you cannot care for your companion, realize though to betray that trust can create emotional issues that can be very difficult to overcome,hence the problem with many rehomed birds.The human needs to always be a birds very best friend-always, no matter what they do.
17 years has gone by and our girl has become famous here in the county, her pictures are in coffee houses that we used to frequent, my wife keeps her picture at work in our lobby and she has people tell her “that looks like the bird I see with this blond guy, yep that’s her! She has come with us when I have done public astronomy sessions and gets more attention than what’s showing in the telescope. On one occasion I was walking with her and a very well dress business woman passed me and said “Oh hi Lila” I had no idea who she was but not long before that my good friend who is Lila’s best male buddy had taken her on a wine walk in the downtown district, I assume that’s the connection but it could be from Home Depot, the bank, one of the garden centers she visits etc.
She is easy to love, she goes to anyone, trusts everyone, will cuddle with everybody, the more hands the better to cuddle with in her mind! If she were a human she would be a classic Southern Belle, popular at every party and a big flirt to all the tall dark men, if wearing glasses the better! She is potty trained and helped to train our other bird,a male Solomon Island Eclectus, bought as a companion for her but they dislike each other!
I suspect and hope many Too care givers (I cannot say “owned” since the reality is they own “US”) are reading this and nodding in agreement “yes that a Too”
Several years ago I got into growing orchids, how much more exotic could I get but parrots and orchids in my home? I grew some miniature ones and Lila allowed me to put them in her crest and take some pictures (no easy challenge BTW) so she became my parrot super model and I started a series called “BeautyandtheBeast” Inc, ENJOY!