Many bird lovers choose the cockatoo as a pet because of its boisterous, cheerful nature. As one of the most popular pet birds, cockatoos can add so much joy to a person’s life.
If you’re feeling down or lonely, these pets will cuddle you and offer endless affection. If you need a good laugh, count on your cockatoo friend to deliver. They have so much energy and let it out in various exciting ways. Some even enjoy dancing to good tunes and will bounce on your shoulder or headbang if they’re feeling it! (Their mohawk makes this even more adorable!)
When one man from Hawaii decided to get a pet cockatoo, it changed his life forever. He’d always wanted one and finally got his chance when he moved to the island. While they’re not native to Hawaii, he was lucky enough to adopt the only one in the entire state. Here’s the story of Gera and his loyal, unique cockatoo named Koko.
Like any cockatoo, Koko loves hanging out with his owner and making people laugh. However, one of his favorite activities sets him apart from the rest. After about two years, Gera started letting him fly freely but noticed something a bit odd.
Meet a Car Surfing Cockatoo Who Thinks He’s “Superbird.”
While in the car, Koko would perch on the window, hanging out the side and enjoying the nice breeze. Imagine how other drivers reacted to the strange sight!
“At first, I was kind of like, ‘Wait, what are you doing? You’re out the window!’ But then I quickly realized it was very natural for him because it’s his environment,” Gera said.
“So I basically make sure to control the speed, and we actually drive twice as slow as he flies. So it’s very, very safe; he’s in full control.”
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Since he was a young child, Gera has always dreamed of having a pet bird to take on adventures. He didn’t just want a bird that sat in a cage and couldn’t experience life. He wanted a bird to interact with him and “act like a Superman!”
“So, in 2012, I moved to Maui, Hawaii. I owned a business at the time, so I worked from home. I started going to pet shops and playing with birds. And that’s when I said, ‘You know what? I’m ready to have a bird,’” Gera recalls.
He walked into a pet store one day and told the owner he wanted a cockatoo because they’re “the funniest birds.” However, she had some bad news; there weren’t any cockatoos in Hawaii. She told him “good luck,” and he went on his way, disappointed that he couldn’t adopt a cockatoo that day.
However, she called him back two weeks later with much better news. She said: “I found one in the whole state of Hawaii. It’s a Citron Cockatoo, do you want it?”
Gera replied excitedly, “Heck yeah, I want him!” He was delighted that the tide had turned, and he could finally make his wish come true.
Gera and Koko became fast friends.
“So I came to the store to pick it up, and you won’t believe how beautiful he was. It was like love at first sight,” Gera says. “She put him on my shoulder, and he literally sat on my shoulder like we’ve known one another. It was like the most amazing bond; it was instant.”
After getting to know each other, Gera and Koko developed a beautiful friendship. Today, they’re inseparable and do almost everything together. Since learning more about cockatoos, Gera decided to write a book to help educate others.
“There’s so much that I’ve been learning. Remember, he’s not a caged bird; this is a real-time shoulder bird. So I wrote a whole E-book about this, and I actually have it on our website,” Gera says. “There’s my PDF book there for any bird person that just dreams to have this kind of bird relationship and just wants to kind of get a good headstart.”
Gera’s advice to anyone who wants a cockatoo:
Exotic birds like cockatoos require a serious, lifelong commitment, as they can live anywhere from 60 to 80 years. Gera added that it’s like having a needy toddler on your shoulder for the rest of your life. So, you’ll want to think twice before you adopt one.
However, if you have the time and willingness to meet their needs, a cockatoo can enhance your life on many levels. You’ll have a constant companion to comfort you and lift your spirits. Plus, you can take them on adventures once you train them to feel comfortable in public. It’s like having a tiny best friend to navigate life with – who wouldn’t want that?!
“We’re going to continue pursuing this because Koko spreads a lot of positivity,” Gera says about his books and website.
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“You know, for those of you who are planning to get this bird, I’m going to tell you guys right now – you’d better be ready because this bird really just wants to be with you full-time. They are very stubborn animals; they want what they want. That’s just how their mind works.”
Gera added that cockatoos are very entertaining animals that will bring a smile to your face.