Have you ever known a bird that only likes one human being? Well, that’s Duke. He is a Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoo, the biggest of the white birds with the yellow crest on its head.
He came to the United States from Australia and when his mate died, he came to us when he decided he didn’t like anyone else. Except Ron Johnson, our resident engineer. If you let him out of his cage, he’ll follow you until you bring him to wherever Ron happens to be. Duke will crawl up Ron’s leg, up to his shoulder and start giving kisses.
Duke basically has a one-word vocabulary, which is “thirsty.” The reason for that is simple. In Australia, the cost for wire is astronomical. So his owner built Duke’s cage out of wood, with wire on it. But Duke kept spilling his water bowl, which rotted out the bottom of the cage. So when his owner brought him fresh water every morning, he’d say, “Duke, you thirsty?”
He has no desire to learn any more words.
If Duke isn’t played with every week, he chews his feathers off. So he can’t be with the other birds who could attack him. But once we get our special needs area built, Duke will have his own ambiance and independence.