“Hi Sammy Baby!” he yells to volunteers. One of his favorite activities is throwing ALL OF THE THINGS onto to the floor. (“Hey humans, my toy bin is empty. Come pick these up!”)
Sam LOOOOVES all the attention. He can’t get enough head scritches and he gets a kick out of being asked to show off his “stinky wingpits” – even though they don’t stink. He thinks its funny, laughing along, eagerly showing off the underside of his lovely wings. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but this delightful happy bird is virtually blind, and upon intake to The Landing, he was very frustrated and angry.
Sam hatched in 1998, born visual. In 2002 he went to live with his surrendering-guardian, who was doing the best she could for him, but she surrendered him to us in 2003. You see, as Sam developed cataracts and detached retinas in both eyes, he naturally startled easily and grew frustrated. It wasn’t an easy adjustment for him or for the humans in his life. This frustration grew into anger, a vicious cycle that often happens in captivity in both humans and birds, regardless of the bird’s visual abilities.
His rehabilitation certainly wasn’t easy, but routine was clearly important. First things first, we ALWAYS announce ourselves before we interact with him. If he contact calls to us, we answer back – this simple act reassures him he is safe and humans are right there should he need anything. As flock animals, this reassurance is critical to his mental and emotional security. His food and water bowls are always in the same location. He always has a cardboard box in his house to shred and throw around. His play areas are loaded with bins of toys that he gleefully throws everywhere, expecting the humans to come get them to refill, and of course, we always do without fail.
With encouragement, reassurance, and routine, this frustrated angry cockatoo became a happy member of the MAARS flock, and he knows we will always be there for him, whatever he may need.
Sam is an Eleanora Cockatoo; a medium-size parrot whose costs for food, toys, and medicine are approximately $45 per month or $540 per year. If you would like to contribute to his health and well-being, no matter the amount, please click.