My Life With Chester.................
I started going to bird shows about 4 years ago, and I saw some
Swainson's toucans there. A guy told me if I wanted to talk to
toucan expert, I should get in touch with Jerry Jennings. When
to Emerald Forest Bird Gardens, I was blown away by the varieties
available. I was especially drawn to the Aracari and Toucanet
because they are smaller, and I liked the look of them. I hesitated,
because I was worried I couldn't care for an exotic fruit eater.....
was afraid I couldn't provide what he needed.
A couple years later I ended up buying 2 parrotlets, because
it was more practical and "safe". I loved them very
much, but those
beautiful soft bills kept haunting my imagination. I think I visited
Jerry 2 more times before I finally decided. He showed me a Chestnut
Earred Aracari that was totally tame and I knew this was the type
bird for me. I'm happy that I did so much research and waited,
because I knew exactly what I was getting. Actually, I take that
back...... I never knew how much fun I would have with this bird.
is the sweetest, cuddliest, most playful, and beautiful pet I
Every day when I go to greet him in the morning, I feel a big
come across my face when I look at him. It's so fun to see him
and grow, his colors becoming more intense, his beak developing
amazing graphic design. He has his main walk-in aviary in my kitchen
(and of course, the Parrotlets have their place in the kitchen,
And after breakfast, we all go into my art studio, the "girls"
window sill playpen, and Chester in his "playpen" cage
and perch. I
don't let them interact, because Chester could hurt or kill them.
I manage to keep them in the same room with no problems.
When I take him out in public, people are really curious and
see him. The main question I get is, "Does he talk?"
I am very happy
to say that he does NOT talk. I love hearing his exotic jungle
and was never interested in having to listen to a bird talk all
long. He is a good fit with my personality, because of three things:
He is quiet, making wonderful sounds every now and then, his beauty
mesmerizing to me, and when I am busy, he is the type of bird
play quietly with his toys and not beg
for my undivided attention all the time. (Which makes me want
him my undivided attention all the time!)
This is a picture of Chester and me. He is about 6 months old
We live in a loft in downtown LA, so if you think you needed a
outdoor aviary, think again. I make sure he has a stimulating
environment with lots of toys and colors. We go out and see other
people, and he visits with other birds at the bird club meetings!
Sure, it takes time and dedication to care for him,
but I think he has given me far more that I could ever give to