Magic pets time with macaws
Big birds have a fling with bling but also require a lot of work
MACAWS are known for their breathtaking plumage but even their intense blue, gold and green colours cannot outshine their personalities, according to Sydney bird handler Josh Cook.
The largest of all parrots, the macaw is native to Central and South America and the stunning zebra-like stripes around their eyes are unique to each animal.
Cook describes the temperament of his two macaws, Mango and Crush, as “like toddlers on crack”.
These mischievous birds are highly intelligent and Cook says anything that sparkles is tempting.
“They love earings and rings – they are attracted to the bling,” he says.
“They are very curious and to them everything is worth investigating. They use their beak to investigate and sometimes come off a little worse for wear.”
The respected wildlife carer, whose home is a menagerie of feathered friends, is a self-taught free flight trainer.
His macaws are set free most weekdays and they are a familiar sight on Sydney’s eastern beaches. Mango and Crush leave his home at sunrise and will return hours later after exploring the sights.
They will often sit high above the children’s playgrounds attracted by the high-pitched sounds below.
Letting his birds out to fly allows them to fully use their lung capacity, Cook says. It also helps with their emotional stability.
Mango and Crush might be a handful but Cook says the relationship you can build with these big parrots “makes it all worth it”.
Josh Cook with his macaw.