Wednesday, March 13, 2019
It’s impossible to ignore Peaches, a Citron Cockatoo, bred in captivity and imprinted on humans. He needs his person and that’s me. He makes sure that I listen, and so, snow or no snow, he gets playtime. Often we talk a walk outside, and in snowy weather, might visit the barn. Peaches is a noisy guy with screeches that frighten horses, so we confine ourselves to areas away from them.
Peaches loves the haystack, but his curiosity could lure him into a crevice. I’m vigilant and don’t let him wander beyond my reach.
He’s always the same, including inside the house. An out-of-cage playtime invites him to start seeking shadowy spots in which to dive and explore.
Sometimes, it’s easy for me to distract Peaches. One of his favorite toys is a cardboard box. I save the best for him and remove any tape and plastic. He’s on it!
He’s totally obsessive-compulsive and works hard, breaking the cardboard into matching pieces.
I watch and imagine myself gathering those pieces into a bag to market, say on Amazon, as a 1,000 piece puzzle designed by a bird. It might work!
Peaches who will turn fifteen this year is a very young Cockatoo. These birds can live for 75 years! He’s designed to destroy, with a hooked beak and an ability to focus that sometimes needs countering. During a playtime, I’ll let him carry on until he wears himself out and desires a relief of returning to his cage. If I must interrupt his playing early to re-cage him, sometimes he’s tempted by special foods.
He is smart, seductive, alert, and fun. He screams long warnings when he sees someone strange or unknown animals on the property; he insists on having one-on-one times with me; he offers occasional periods of hour-long nonsensical screams (woe to anyone trying to hear something on television); and his laughter, just like a human’s, always makes me laugh, too.
For Peaches, every day is sunny and full of possibilities.
My friends, Other species can teach us much about being alive and optimistic! Diana