Photo by Dave Location: Musha Cay, Bahamas Shown: Toco Toucans
A toco toucan is one of my "dream birds" and I finally got to work with some! They were wild caught and sold as "hand fed tame babies" which they were clearly not. They turned out to be wild caught. My job was to tame them enough that they would actually enjoy human interaction from strangers, and that anyone could go in and hand feed them fruit as part of a cool and unique experience. My second task, since we did get them up to that point in only 8 days, was to crate train them for emergency transport purposes. We at least got them going in the crates and sitting in them waiting for blue berries (their reinforcement/reward) but didn't get any further in the mere 2 days we had.
However we let the trainer know how to continue in the crate training process so she could keep up on it and achieve their goals as we left after just 10 days.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.