The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to two new Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos in the Indonesian Rainforest – Sugar and Simon. These birds get their names from the yellow crest of feathers on their head.
Sugar, named for her sweet demeanor, is very friendly with keepers. Simon is still a little shy and can usually be found clinging to the wire of their exhibit.
Many zoo visitors like to ask if these beautiful birds can talk. According to Zookeeper Tiffany Jones:
Cockatoos – they can talk. They’re a little more muffled. They do make noises. They do mimic us. But, it’s not as like an African Grey – what most people associate with just talking in sentences and stuff like that.
Sugar and Simon are given fresh food and water twice a day. They’re also given some treats like peanuts, sunflowers, and bananas. Sugar’s favorite are peas, which she peels the skins off of.
One way that you can tell male and female cockatoos are their eyes. Males eyes are basically black, while the females tend to an auburn-brown color to them.
Even though these birds are capable of living into their 50s and 60s, their population in the wild is plummeting. They are critically endangered, primarily due to the pet trade.
Flap your wings over to the Indonesian Rainforest to see Simon and Sugar all summer long!