Friday, September 14, 2007


Wilton, is my 17-year old female Umbrella Cockatoo. I've known Wilton since the day she hatched even though her parents, Bill and Olivia, carried out the parenting duties the first three weeks of her life. Her parents were special birds and started life as handfed babies themselves. They were so tame and trusting they let me inspect their babies in the nestbox without fuss or fear. So I watched Wilton develop and eventually, and quite reluctantly, removed her to begin the handfeeding process so that she'd grow up trusting humans, too. While it was my decision to take over her upbringing it bothered me to disturb the natural process of her parent's baby-raising activities. I'm getting pretty wimpy over the idea of having to clip a bird's wings, too. I suppose after all the years of living with exotic pet birds I've become more unsettled about altering their natural lives as pet owners, like me, feel they must do. But I'm digressing.

Wilton is an incredibly smart bird ... she doesn't miss a trick and is full of curiosity and enthusiasm about everything in her environment. I delight in giving her bird toys ... she's just a trip to watch interact with them. You know that TV ad from a few year's back where Mikey's brothers gave him some breakfast cereal they weren't so sure they'd like ... with the comment that went something like ... "give it to Mikey, he'll eat everything". Well, Wilton is the cockatoo equivalent of Mikey. There isn't a bird toy that Wilton has ever "met" that she refused to play with. Perhaps it's her extraordinary intelligence and energy level that demands that she have something to do ... something to figure out ... take apart ... and just plain be challenged with. She doesn't let me forget for even a day what it must be like for these intelligent critters to be deprived of things to do while they sit patiently (or not so patiently) in their cages waiting for their owners to play with them or provide some stimulation.

I ordered a boatload of bird toys recently ... a boatload is necessary because I have 13 birds, lol. I decided to give Wilton a crack at them first just to discover her "level of approval". She hasn't had a go at them all yet; however, so far the winner is the neat acrylic toy that you see her playing with in the photos. There is something about those little dots on the dice cubes that no cockatoo can resist ... so, of course, Wilton just couldn't let that toy alone. She just has to find a way to remove those dots. Once that is accomplished (it'll be tough to do, hee hee hee) then she'll just have to figure out how to remove the dice from the toy. That's going to be pretty hard to do, too. I think Wilton might have met her match with this toy. But we'll see. This is one toy that will remain a permanent fixture in her cage until the time comes she tires of it. Now it will be interesting to see when that will happen ... or IF it happens. I'll give you an update.

Check out all the toys at ... with lots of new ones coming soon!


bird toys said...

Your parrot looks very happy playing with his toy.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the defintive test results :)

bird cages said...

I wish that my pet birds would play with the toys that I buy them. They just sort of move around then and look at them. They do not seem interested in the toys unless they want to fight with them, (which is not very often.)

Shaws 4 Paws said...

Such clever minds! Love watching them play, great stimulation.

Maxina Williams said...

An enjoyable article. Wilton looks like a Corella to me. I have never heard the term "Umbrella Parrot " before.