Parrot Life in Today’s World – Oona’s Story
Reality Check 101
Written by: Kim Hannah

Hi. My name is Oona, and I am a six-month-old Female Umbrella Cockatoo.

I was born at a place called a “breeder.” They took me from my parents before I even knew them. It seemed okay though, because they fed me, and I liked to sleep a lot. When I was two months old, I was sold for $600.00 to what they call a “flipper.” He fed me too, but kept me in his garage and in a small cage. He took me to what’s called “bird fairs,” where he tried to sell me for $1500.00. No one had the money for me, so I stayed in the garage, lonely and afraid.

When I was three months old, a lady found out about me in the garage and felt bad for me. She paid the “flipper” the $1500.00 and off I went to another home. She didn’t have a big cage for me either, but she tried. She bought a big dog crate and turned it into a cage for me. She did her best to feed me and to get me to try food other than my formula, but she was unsure what to do or how to do it. She kept me for three months, then she searched for another home for me to go to. After all, she had a life and needed to get back to it.

So when I was six months old, she found a lady near Nashville that ran a place called Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee. She asked the lady there if she could help. She asked if she would take me. And she said yes.

And here I am today. In my fourth home, in six short months. I am quiet now and a little unsure, but still full of love and trust. This lady promised me she is going to take care of me. That she won’t let me down. That everything is going to be okay and somehow, I believe her. Today I tried some soft peas and carrots with my formula. I think it’s going to be okay now. She is taking me to a place called a “vet” on Friday.

This happens to my kind every single day. I will live 50 to 70 years. I will long to fly for miles, forage for food in the forest, to find a mate of my choosing, and to raise a family. I will be denied all those things because I am in a place called “captivity.” I will never know what it is like to be free in my native land. I will depend on humans to take care of me and hope that they will do their very best to meet the high demands of my kind. Too many of us are not so lucky. The only way out is to stop breeding us for profit.

My name is Oona, and I am a six-month-old Umbrella Cockatoo. I am in my fourth home. Let that sink in….