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Fascination with Foot Toys

EB Cravens

Having just finished the late afternoon dry-food feeding out in the aviaries, I was preparing to exit the main colony cage when I glanced down at the ground beneath the kukui nut and mulberry trees. Oops, almost forgot! The next five minutes are spent gathering up all the empty pen casings, toothbrushes, plastic bottle tops, coral, shell and wood pieces, and other colorful implements from where they have been dropped upon the grassy ground. All are returned to a small wooden basket hanging in the branches of the center tree.

Moonbeam, our one-year-old Yellow-fronted Amazon and her current companion, Howdy, are the present residents of the large flight. ‘Mooners’ was a hand-fed chick, so she learned about these foot toys during weaning. Now she is a prime user of the play basket, though her beau likes to come over and try to take away whatever object she has picked out and flown off with. My job is to keep the basket replenished - something I do two or three times per day.

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