Crate training might seem easy… you get the bird and put it in the crate, right? Wrong. At least not with these birds.
These toucans were, again, wild caught so they came to the island very wild and very scared of people. Cathy was their main caretaker on the island who brought them their food and cleaned their cages, they began to become comfortable around her. Until one day they had a hurricane warning and HAD to get the toucans out of their cages and into crates for transport.
Originally, their travel cages they came in stayed in their new aviaries and they ate out of them all the time so it wasn’t a problem. However, it made a huge mess between left over food (as they were over feeding) and poop everywhere so it wasn’t done for long. When emergency time came, they chased the toucans all over the aviary until they were too tired to move from the ground and could no longer perch. This was recommended to them by a vet as a means of getting the birds in the crates… so for 45 minutes they chased the toucans over and over again in the aviary until they were limp in their hands and they could put them in the crates.
After that experience, the toucans never trusted anyone and this included the crates.
Dave and I were darn proud to have gotten them over such a huge hurdle in the beginning and have them eating out of anyone’s hands on the island as a sort of “excursion” people could do. But crate training in two days time? Yikes…
These Toco Toucans were supposedly wild caught and when the two sets of them came in (two breeding pairs) no one could get near them, they were so afraid.
After working with both aggressive and scared parrots, I prefer scared birds over aggressive. I enjoy helping build a bird’s confidence and skills and watching it overcome its small fears and eventually, large fears. The goal for these wild toucans was to make it so that guests visiting the island could interact with them. Dave and I decided it ...