Cockatoo owners share their bird's eye view
KOTA BHARU - There is nothing like experiencing birds being released to fly freely in the air before returning to your hands. That feeling gives such satisfaction to a group of cockatoo bird owners from the Kelantan Free Fly Community group.
The head of the group, Tuan Mohd Azrin Tuan Ariffin said the free-flying method required intensive training and high discipline to ensure that the bird returned to its owner.
Tuan Mohd Azrin, who owns a two-year-old and five-month-old Blue and Gold Macaw parrots, said that the birds he owns will be taught to recognise themselves first by calling their name and the sound of their owner’s voice.
"There is no doubt that cockatoos are one of the most intelligent bird species in the world and can even imitate the owner's voice or any sound that it constantly hears.
"For example, my own cockatoo called 'Bonny' can be released to fly freely and come back when it hears its name being called. Another way is to bait it with food in the hand so that the hungry bird will see and stop by it," he said when met by reporters near Kampung Seribong, here, yesterday.
Another cockatoo owner, Wan Haiman Rusdan Wan Hussin said that this method of free-flying can also be risky such as losing or having your bird stolen if the bird does not return to the hands of its owner.
Wan Haiman Rusdan, who owns a Red Winged Macaw, said that if the bird is not properly trained, it will definitely cause losses to the owner because the value of a parrot depends on the type of species and can fetch as much as over RM100,000.
"I myself have a crossbreed bought from a breeder worth RM25,000 and it is now six months old. I will make sure that my bird named 'Phoenix' will be well-trained before trying the free-flying method," he said.
As for Rosli Abdullah, he said that the process of looking after cockatoos is quite complicated because it is important to ensure the health aspect and the right diet such as broccoli, mustard, pumpkin, mango, papaya, as well as legumes and fruits.
"What is important is that the nails and feathers must always be clean. Cockatoos in gilded cage can bite the feathers on their wings until they come off, making it difficult to fly," he said. - BERNAMA