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"Pretty Girl" Mandy

Meet the Store Pets: Mandy the Moluccan Cockatoo

This year I want to showcase each of our permanent store pets and share their background and personal story. We have over 40 store pets, so this will take all year! Of course we have to start with the star of the show, Mandy!

If you’ve ever been in our store you have seen (or heard) Mandy. She doesn’t let too many people pass by her cage without announcing her presence. Mandy is a 17 year old Moluccan Cockatoo that we have had since 2007. We have had a Moluccan Cockatoo as a “greeter” in the front of our store for the majority of the time we have been open. My dad’s personal pet, Baby, took on this role for about 10 years and was one of the most special birds we’ve ever had. He had a mini shopping cart and fire truck that he’d push around on the floor, play with small kids, a great talker and total show off—typical Cockatoo!

Unfortunately Baby got very sick, very quickly, and passed away in 2007. My dad was pretty devastated as this was his personal pet and very soon after this Mandy’s owner came in looking to sell her. Mandy’s owner was moving to Colorado and couldn’t take her with him to his new home. We had interacted with Mandy a few times as she had come in for grooming or with her owner while he shopped and knew she was a pretty good bird. With the hole left with Baby’s passing, my dad purchased Mandy with the hopes of helping the whole store get back to normal.

In many ways Mandy fits the same profile as Baby and many other Moluccan Cockatoos-loud, demanding, entertaining, diva at all times. But as we all know, you can’t replace a pet and Mandy’s own personality was strikingly different than Baby’s.

While Mandy may not be as good as Baby in my dad’s eyes, she has certainly garnered a following unlike any other bird in our store. She has been the most predictable cockatoo we’ve ever had in her behavior. I trust her with even the youngest of kids and we know when she’s had enough and needs a break. She is a good communicator with her needs and her booming Moluccan voice knows just how to carry that to our ears. Mandy is one of our main ambassadors of the store, going to schools, nursing homes, and birthday parties and giving Cockatoos a good representation. For those people that are new to birds or afraid of birds she is the often the first one I have them meet. Even though she is one of the largest birds we have, she is sweet and affectionate. She loves to play fetch, too, with toy parts or plastic balls—and by that I mean YOU play fetch and she throws. Because we are her minions. She is also one of the smartest birds I’ve come across. Countless times I have seen her chew up wood blocks into long splinters to use that splinter to get food parts out of foraging toys. She uses one of her wood block toys as a plate. She’s also great at opening locks, flipping up her water bottle holder and watching the glass crash to the floor. She is a toddler in feather form.

Now as we all know with every seemingly “perfect” bird comes some difficult behaviors to deal with in a home or business. Moluccans have been recorded as the loudest bird on earth at 135 decibels (that is just a few less than a jet engine airplane at take off). Mandy likes to test her voice on us daily to make sure it still works. I can report, it works just fine. No matter how frustrating it can be to deal with her natural noise, all she needs to do is lean over on me for a quick cuddle and whispers “Mandy bird” in her rough, garbled voice, and she melts all of our hearts. We sure hope to have her around the next 40-50 years, so make sure to come see her some day!

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