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I found Love at the Super Pet Expo

Posted by SusanStokes on February 13, 2016


I experienced something very significant to me at the recent Super Pet Expo in Edison, New Jersey. While visiting the booth display by A Helping Wing Parrot Rescue, I encountered what I was told was a rare red-tailed black cockatoo named Gotham. After holding him on my arm for a few minutes, I was in love. Who knew?

I don’t yet know Gotham’s full history and how he came to live at A Helping Wing Parrot Rescue, but I can tell you there was chemistry between us – Gotham is truly a sentient being. I decided to do some research about this type of bird, so I headed on over to Pet Place online.

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A selfie with Gotham at the Super Pet Expo

According to Dr. Susan Clubb, the red-tailed black cockatoo is common in North and central Australia. They inhabit eucalyptus forests, especially along rivers. They are very nomadic and move about in search of food in flocks of up to 2,000 birds. They feed primarily in trees on Eucalyptus and Casuarina as well as other species.

She says they are relatively quiet birds, and I did find that to be the case with Gotham. He seemed to just settle in and cuddle with me without any chatter or noise making. Dr. Clubb also says their rarity outside of Australia makes it unlikely they will be available for pets. Very few birds are in captivity except in zoos and specialized private collections. Again, I feel honored to have spent my special one-on-one time with this magnificent bird.

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Another Selfie with Gotham

At only 15 years of age, Gotham has a lifespan of approximately 50 years. This is one of the big reasons rescues such as A Helping Wing Parrot Rescue exist. Folks often take in these big birds as pets, not realizing they require a commitment that might be longer than their own lifespan. Think about it - are you ready for your pet to outlive you, and what plans and contingencies have you made for it once you are gone?

Dr. Clubb goes on to say that red-tailed black cockatoos are inquisitive and love to chew objects in their surroundings, since their beaks were designed for chewing trees and they are very powerful chewers. In captivity, they should always be provided with toys, blocks of wood or branches that they can chew. Along with toys and a proper diet, this bird would require housing to accommodate full flight, to the ground. A suggested size is 5 feet wide by 8 feet tall by 12 feet long.

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Gotham spreads his wings and shows off his beautiful tail!

You can source the full article by Dr. Susan Clubb about red-tailed black cockatoos online at Pet Place.

I hope to visit Gotham again soon. I think a field trip to A Helping Wing Parrot Rescue is in order.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Susan, Taurus and Gemini




Recommended Reading:

An Important Message for January Adopt a Rescued Bird Month

Rest in Peace That Guy With The Birds

Let’s Celebrate National Bird Day!

Birds Require Specialized Veterinary Care

Birds of Prey – A Presentation by the Delaware Valley Raptor Center