COCKATOO, SQUIRREL, OR SQUIRRELY COCKATOO?!By Sharon Keagle
Gabby is my 2-year-old pet Goffins cockatoo. She seems to be having an identity problem. She has the amusing habit of hiding food and pellets. I have found pieces of food crammed in the hems of my kitchen curtains, into her cholla cactus toys, in crevices of her perches and she even wraps them in the down feathers on her back. I was alarmed the first time I found these while petting her. I thought she was covered with scabs! I recently bought her a food toy which has empty chambers that I fill with treats for her to empty. After she empties them, she refills them with cage floor debris (empty nut and seed shells, etc.) It seems as if Gabby has also been thinking of holding a clinic for feather pickers. Whenever she loses a feather or piece of down due to molting, she promptly picks it up and puts it back - flight feathers where they belong and tail feathers in their correct spot. She'll also pick up pieces of wool from my sweater and put them in her feathers. This tends to make her very colorful! Could this be an adaptation to life in the Buffalo area during our famous winters? I guess Gabby’s basic philosophy must be: Waste Not - Want Not!!