Pet of the Day

May 1, 2012

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Amigo, the Pet of the Day
Name: Amigo
Age: Thirteen years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Umbrella Cockatoo
Home: Central California, USA
   Amigo is a male umbrella cockatoo, thirteen years old now and living in the Sierra foothills of central California, with myself and husband, Tim.

    We've had him with us for four years now and what a journey it's been! Once we all came to terms with each other, I couldn't imagine my days without him! He is an amazing creature, not for the weak of heart, but for someone that loves to try and relate with a wild animal at heart, he's been perfect for me!

    A friend of mine was having her home foreclosed on and had to move quickly, she called me. She also owned an African grey but asked if I could please help her out with Amigo. I had no idea what I was getting myself and my family into! We had never dealt with a parrot before, let alone a U2. OMG!! I know I've vented about our journey on the parrot forum, but for those of you who hadn't heard it, it's been a wild ride living with and finally coming to terms with Amigo.

    We have come to this point, four years later and my husband and he tolerate each other, the kids live away from home now but when they come visit, my oldest son steers clear of this terrorist, my youngest son stays neutral, and our oldest daughter is afraid of him because of all the bad publicity, but he sure does love her! He definitely prefers women! He's very affectionate, towards me and every other woman that he meets. He can definitely live without men!

    I now free flight him, that was an exciting half-year adventure in itself. Amigo rules over "his" territory with great pride! He lets the woodpeckers know where they shouldn't be, mainly his tree. Amigo has been free flying two years in June and we live nowhere close to any pesticide spraying, so there are no worries about that. He has chewed on every plant in the area that I know of, except, I'm hoping not poison oak and if so he hasn't had any ill effects yet, if he gets in that and touches me, though ... I will be hurting!

    I quit worrying about him a while ago when I figured out he knew where his territory is, he knows where I am most of the time, and he knows where home is. "Mi Amigo" has also learned raven speak, in a sense, he does their "gluck, gluck" sound. He is outside a lot and we have ravens around the property that visit him often. When the big buzzards fly over, he huddles into the trees and is very quiet, even though they are not his biggest threat but their size scares him. Now hawks are a different story. He gets very upset and vocal when one of them come around. He is a larger bird than the red-tail hawks we see and so far Amigo seems to intimidate them, they just keep on going and don't stop to investigate the terror in the tree!

    I can't say enough about this bird in terms of bravery, willing to defend us with his life, if need be. He won't back down when confronted with something scary, like a dog, cat, hawk. The only thing I've seen him uncomfortable with are the buzzards, when they fly over. He's friends with the ravens in the area and they help to keep the hawks away.

    He comes into the house, usually twice a day, just to hang out with us and at bedtime. He doesn't really have special toys that he likes in his cage, I guess because he is usually only in it to sleep. I do keep some rope and wood hanging toys in there but he doesn't seem interested. He loves going on walk/flights with me and the dogs. He loves getting showered with the hose while I water outside. When someone drives into the property, he is always the first one there, in the closest tree, to make sure they are friend not foe.

   I could go on and on but I'll just say I love you Amigo!

Amigo, the Pet of the Day
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Amigo, the Pet of the Day
Amigo, the Pet of the Day

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