By great good fortune, Kansas City's pet bird rescue society, Beak & Wings, had an adoption fair over the weekend at our neighborhood pet supply store. I coaxed my long-suffering research assistant husband to come along (which is always a good idea, as he asks excellent questions and wields a mean camera phone).
Beak & Wings volunteers had brought along maybe two dozen adoptable birds of all sorts, from sweet little lovebirds to brightly colored conures to the impressive hyacinth macaw*, but the birds I had come to see (thanks to the mysterious casting director employed by my muse) were white parrots--the cockatoos.
Rocky, a Moluccan cockatoo enjoying his perch.
And Paco, a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo who was very happy to teach me about his brethren!
Here I learn where to scratch.
One of the adoptable African grey parrots deftly shells a peanut.
This group has regular meetings where members bring their birds, which are also open to the public, so it looks like there may well be more parrot love and education in my future!
And no, we are not adopting a parrot! As absolutely sweet and cuddlesome--and loud--as the birds were, they are very high-maintenance--and loud--animals who require dedicated owners willing and able to provide lots of attention and stimulation. Which is absolutely no problem for us, but they also require family members who won't eat them. Which could be tricky. Some dogs and birds do great together, but it's not a risk we're willing to take right now.. One of the issues pet parrots face is that their long lifespans means they often outlive their owners. Little Paco is an adolescent at only four, but Rocky is in his forties--just into middle-age.