Week before last, we posted a picture of Buddy, our umbrella cockatoo, on our Facebook page. Within a few days, WSLS contacted us about doing a story for their Good News Friday segment. How fun it was doing a Zoom interview; Buddy participated and enjoyed seeing himself. The folks at the television station even looked through a few years of posts about Buddy and compiled them into a wonderful glimpse of the personality of our feathered friend.
Most visitors to the shelter are greeted with a sweet greeting from Buddy, our umbrella cockatoo. His first greeting is a sweet one, and the other ones become even firmer. When he says, “hello,” he expects a response. Actually, he sometimes expects many responses! He was formerly known as Number 176 and has been with us for 12 years.
He came to us through an on-line auction in 2007 when a large bird breeding facility in Greensboro announced they were closing and selling all the birds at an auction.
The word spread among bird lovers throughout the country and bird groups began organizing to bid on the birds during the auction to remove as many as possible from the breeding market. Sanctuaries joined in the effort.
All of the controversy resulted in the auction being changed from on-site to an on-line one. We registered and received our bidding number. We pored over the list of the birds and decided which ones we would try to get. Our list included a blind African Gray, plucked ones, and single ones. We did not get involved in the controversy that ensued. Because of that, we were asked to go to the facility and take the birds in the worst shape.
During the auction, we won many of the plucked and saddest cases.
The umbrella cockatoos were being won for hundreds of dollars. Number 176 was a single male cockatoo and, for some reason, I placed a computer bid. We won him for $400.
Number 176 became a favorite of the shelter staff. They started calling him Buddy. He was accepted into a sanctuary in Indiana, along with a couple of other cockatoos. The morning the volunteers came to transport him, the staff members cried, and so did Buddy. We decided he would stay with us. We bought him a huge cage and told him his troubles were truly over.
Buddy, through the years, has fallen in love with April, the shelter manager. He calls her name incessantly. “April, April, April, April,” has become his call. He is so attached to her that when she was going to be on vacation for a week, I took a picture of her, printed it, and taped it to his cage. He stayed by the picture all week.
Buddy stays on top of his cage most of the time, but he is allowed to wander around before the shelter opens. He parades up and down the hall and even likes to swing on the baby gate in the front office. A couple of years ago, we bought a stand for the front office; however, it lasted a shorter amount of time than it took the company to ship it to us. (Oh, and if anyone would like to help us repair the window frame, we would love your help!)
How we love our Buddy! Be sure to see our little media star a www.wsls.com/features/2020/06/12/bird-talks-and-dances-his-way-into-rescues-heart-and-history.