Danny, the Cockatoo 2

Maree Clarkson

Tarlton, South Africa

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W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
This is Danny, my Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) and they are native to Australia and New Guinea. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos have quite a long life span and some have been known to live for up to 80 years in captivity, if properly cared for. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos have a reputation for being loud and noisy birds, but they are also known to be very sweet and affectionate companions if hand fed as babies. In general, these birds love attention and being handled.

Danny is now almost 8 years old and arrived here (in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) when he was 6 months old and although he has settled beautifully into our family routine, he made his preferences quite clear right from the beginning. Like the fact that he prefers cooked food over the normal sunflower seeds and nuts and he is particularly fond of his cooked oats which he has for breakfast every morning at about 9am. And if we’re not on time, that reputation for being noisy is heard all over our smallholding!

I don’t think Cockatoos are renowned for their speaking prowess but Danny knows a couple of words together with many sounds around the house that he mimicks. He just loves music and, when prompted, will do a little dance with lots of head-bobbing, flapping wings and hanging upside down from one of his sticks.

It’s a real problem in South Africa finding suitable toys for a cockatoo. Anything not strong enough is annihilated within minutes. I don’t know about cockatoos, but it is estimated that Macaws have a bite force of 200lbs per square inch. I’m sure Danny’s bite is pretty close as he finishes off a broom stick in a couple of hours. Luckily he has never displayed any biting habits, even under the most stressful conditions, like when I have to cut his toe nails. But I do use the necessary precautions when carrying out that duty, like wearing gloves, just in case!

The male of the species as black eyes with a black pupil and the female has brown eyes with a black pupil.

22nd April 2013 – PICK OF THE DAY in “Bubbling Artists”
23rd April 2013 – FEATURED in “Love these Creatures”
4th May 2013 – FEATURED in “African Art and Photography”
5th May 2013 – FEATURED in “Amazing Wildlife”
10th November 2013 – FEATURED in “Art Universe”
17th January 2014 – FEATURED in “Artistry Group”
29th January 2014 – FEATURED in “Inspired Art”

Artwork Comments

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