September 22nd – Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Pictured is a near-tame Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galleria).

Over time we’ve been fascinated by animals that interact with humans – primates, dolphins, lyre birds, and then there’s the cockatoo.

I’d go as far to say that anyone who has grown up on the east-coast of Australia would have a childhood memory of a chat with a caged cockatoo somewhere.

As cruel as it sounds, these large birds are often kept in captivity as a companion pet. They are quite adept at conversing, and will often memorise phrases, right down to mimicking the owners accent.

There are also instances where a tame cocky has been freed and teaches a flock it’s new linguistic skills.

They are also keen dancers. There were studies in 2009 into an Eleonora Cockatoo, Snowball, as it had been observed boogying to “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys.

Under observation by doctors from the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla (California), Snowball was observed not just bobbing up-and-down in time with the music, he could adjust his body movements as the tempo of the music changed.

It’s understood there has been a rigorous programme since 2009 to teach Snowball some taste in music.

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