Crazy About Cockatoos!

Gidget, Citron-crested Cockatoo

Gidget, Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata)

Looking for a great place to go on the Easter long weekend? Come in to the warm lush tropical atmosphere of the Bloedel Conservatory and get crazy about cockatoos!

You have likely already met Malibu, the Sulphur-crested cockatoo? She as been with the Conservatory for nearly a year and has settled in beautifully. If you stop and say “Hello!”, she will likely give you a loud ‘Hello’ right back and maybe show you some of her best dance moves!

Malibu_sm

Malibu, Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)

And she is now in good company with other birds in the Cockatoo family: Gidget the Citron-crested cockatoo and Kramer, the Moluccan cockatoo. Gidget also arrived with her best buddy of 15 years: Rudy, the African Grey Parrot. The Bloedel Conservatory is very fortunate to have been chosen as the new forever home for all of these incredible birds.

Citron-cockatoos are smaller than Sulphur-crested cockatoos, have a more orange-coloured crest and soft yellow patches on their cheeks and under their wings. They are a quiet species compared with all the cockatoos and are not as good at imitating human speech as some members of the parrot family. Gidget is the sweetest little cockatoo and loves to give kisses, but you have to listen very carefully!

Kramer, the Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)

Kramer, the Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)

Kramer, the Moluccan cockatoo, on the other hand has a large vocabulary and is not shy about letting you know it! He says things like “Hello, Good Morning”, “Peek-a-boo”, “Kramer is a good bird”, (often followed by “Kramer is a bad bird”), “What is that?”,“I’m a bird”, “Let’s party”, “Surprise!”, “Bye-bye”, and “Good night”. Sometimes his language can even get as colourful as the plants at the Conservatory! Watch the video at ‘The Last Word: Dirty Bird Talking’ on the CTV Vancouver website (scroll to page 3 once you arrive). Moluccans are the largest of the cockatoo family and are extremely intelligent. Kramer also loves peppermint tea, baseball hats, and is a very good dancer sometimes swinging upside-down from his perch and putting on a show.

Rudy, the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

Rudy, the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

Rudy arrived at the Bloedel Conservatory with Gidget. Rudy is a 16 year old African Grey Parrot and also has quite a good vocabulary. She is also the master of whistles and weird, wonderful sounds. She will say “Hello!”, “Gidget”, loves to do her cat imitation, and if you sneeze, she will politely say “Bless you!”.

African Grey Parrots are loving, playful, and bring joy and laughter into the lives of all who have the pleasure of knowing one. They are known as the “Einstein’s” of the parrot world because of their incredible talking ability. African Greys are considered to be among the most intelligent of all birds, ranking alongside dolphins and chimpanzees for their ability to associate human words with meanings, shapes and colours.

All the birds at the Bloedel Conservatory have either been directly donated to the Conservatory from homes that can no longer keep them or have been adopted from the GreyHaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary. GreyHaven is a local non-profit organization that specializes in parrot rescue, rehabilitation and adoption. They actively promote avian welfare and awareness in the community through educational seminars and presentations.

Scaffolding for roof replacement project

Scaffolding for roof replacement project

A great way to round out your visit to Bloedel is with lunch or dinner at Season’s in the Park Restaurant. It’s open all Easter long weekend and offers one of the best views Vancouver has to offer. Go to their website: http://www.vancouverdine.com/seasons-park for more information, specials and to make reservations.

Now that the Conservatory roof replacement project is well underway, Bloedel is a perfect family friendly and affordable retreat rain or shine, is wheelchair accessible and is open everyday. With lush plants and over 200 exotic colourful (and entertaining) birds, it’s a perfect destination spot in the city. Hours, prices and more info can be found on the Vancouver Parks website. Come for a visit! The birds can’t wait to meet you!

 

A Very Special Donation to Save the Bloedel Conservatory!!

“My name is Emma and I am 9 years old.

I collected Bottles and cans to help save the Conservatory
I love to visit and the birds are my friends especially Rosie
I would be very sad if it closed down.

Love Emma B”

Emma sent the Friends of the Bloedel a cheque for $238.00!!

And she didn’t stop there! As of June 16, Emma gave presentations to all the classes at her school and collected over 200 signatures on a petition which has been sent to the Mayor, City Councilors and Park Board Commissioners. The Vancouver Sun released the story today. Read it here: Nine-year-old does her part to save Bloedel Conservatory.

THANK YOU Emma for your hard work!

It warms our hearts to know so many people of all ages are so dedicated to saving the Bloedel Conservatory and everything that makes it such a special place.

This post is dedicated to you Emma and to Rosie!

Rosie is a Congo African Grey Parrot. African Greys are considered to be among the most intelligent of all birds, even ranking alongside dolphins and chimpanzees for their ability to associate human words with meanings, shapes and colours. Rosie typically makes a wide range of clicks, chirps, warbles and water drop sounds – with the occasional “Cuckoo” thrown in for good measure. She will often climb down off of her perch and come out to the pathway to say ‘hello’ to all the visitors, although this is not particularly safe for her because she is rather small. If she does not want to be picked up, she puts her beak down to the floor (or perch) to say “No, I’m not ready yet”.

Parrots age gracefully and can live to be up to 60 years old. African Grey Parrots eat seeds, fruits and palm nuts. Did you know that chocolate, peach and cherry pits, apple seeds and avocados are toxic to all parrots? Sorry Rosie, no guacamole for you!

The African Grey Parrot is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Luckily, many countries have banned the importation of wild-caught grey parrots. In the United States, there are enough domestically raised birds to easily satisfy the demand for parrots as pets, so there is little support for black market illegally imported African Parrots. The Bloedel Conservatory works with a local non-profit organization called GreyHaven that specializes in parrot rescue, rehabilitation and adoption. All the birds at Bloedel have either been directly donated to the Conervatory from homes that can no longer keep them or have been adopted from the GreyHaven Sanctuary.

We are working hard keep the Bloedel Conservatory as a ‘forever home’ for Rosie and all the birds who live there. And for dedicated people like Emma who help make big changes in the world.