Listen to Your Bird... It Knows Best!

Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, FL Pictured: Swainson Toucan "Fiji"

I've trained my toucan, Fiji, to cry/scream whenever she needs the following:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Sleep

So anytime she screams, she gets one of those 3 things. Well, the food dishes in the aviaries outside are a bit awkward for her use but she makes do, somehow. I noticed she had been crying a lot more recently and kept asking Dave if he had checked on her and taken care of her, he kept saying he had so we made sure to ignore the crying thinking it was merely for attention. Wrong... I decided I'd go out and clean all the aviaries since it had been raining for about 3 days straight. I looked into Fiji's aviary and saw sure enough, she had food and water. From the rain that day, her food was a bit soggy so I brought out fresh berries that could endure the rain instead and called it a day on pellets. Pellets are truly worthless to give when it rains outside here. As I was replacing one of her two water dishes, Fiji THREW herself against the side and practically inside the feeder. I thought maybe she was attacking me, or desperate for water but she had two full dishes so I wasn't understanding what was up with her behavior... until I looked down...

Location: Orlando, FL Pictured: Broken Perches 

The bamboo perches under neath her feeding dishes (namely water dishes) had broken and had broken so bad that NOTHING was left to stand on so she HAD to throw herself in there. But even then, her beak is so large that she still couldn't manage to drink since she had to actually tilt her head back to swallow. The poor bird had been trying to tell us all along!

Location: Orlando, FL Pictured: Broken Perches 

Because the black part stayed on, it gave the illusion when you just looked at the aviary from the outside that the perches were still there. It wasn't until I saw her behavior and realized they were laying on the bottom of the aviary useless that I realized she was right the entire time...

So listen to your bird, they know best!

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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