This is Tia, the Citron-Crested Cockatoo. He is the rarest bird at The Hamilton Aviary and is famous for his brightly coloured crest of yellow feathers that rest on his head, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a mohawk when Tia feels like impressing a new volunteer or catching the eye of a visitor. He was hatched in 2000 and arrived at The Hamilton Aviary when he started getting quarrelsome towards men in particular. Old habits die hard and Tia still harbours a minor distaste for men (we girls get it; guys can be gross). No matter, we are still so happy to be celebrating his 22 birthday with him this year!
For those that Tia loves, he showers them in affection. He likes to snuggle in close, so close that he tries to get underneath people’s shirts and sweaters! Much like Sydney, Tia is also known for regurgitating food to share with his favourite people; after all, sharing is caring! Tia is also quite curious, and enjoys interacting with people while in his enclosure. He often greets passersby by coming down to eye level on his door in the hopes of gaining some attention and having people come over to talk to him. Sometimes he’ll even let people pet his toes. I mean, who doesn’t like a nice foot massage? One volunteer, Jonathon, was even able to take Tia outside on his arm while his cage was being cleaned. This proves just how far Tia has come, becoming a better behaved bird while at the aviary.
Tia is very spirited, and likes to get his way. Eva, a long-time volunteer, often takes him out of his cage for some one-on-one snuggles and treats, but sometimes he is stubborn and wants to stay out of his cage longer. Once it took volunteers two hours to get Tia back in his enclosure after he had been out on the feeding shift! Sometimes a good treat will tempt Tia back inside his cage. Ironically, his favourite ones are scrambled eggs, a popular treat among the birds at the aviary. And don’t forget the walnuts!
One thing Tia enjoys is having a shower. One volunteer was misting Tia—the birds are gently sprayed with warm water in the form of fine water droplets to ensure they stay clean and cool—but he liked it so much, he did not want her to stop. When she started to see if Howard, Tia’s neighbour, wanted to be misted, Tia came down from his perch to follow her along the side of his cage as if to say, “No wait, come back.” She got his message and had to come back to continue misting him twice more before he was satisfied.
Just recently at the aviary’s volunteer barbecue, Tia got to come outside and join in the fun. He bounced up and down on the arm of a volunteer, dancing along with the music. His favourite song is “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, and he will even pause dramatically for the line, “Stop, wait a minute.” The most memorable thing about Tia is his trick “big wings.” When prompted, he raises his yellow crest and both his wings. He then whips his head to the side and squawks and sometimes even says ‘WHEEE”! It is a very cute display that often leaves onlookers laughing. It’s even funnier to see when he’s hanging upside down!
Tia is one of our most daring acrobats and a diva in his own right, but when you get to know him he is a big sweetheart and the biggest cuddle-monster. We wouldn't have it any other way.
If you would like to support Tia please consider donating or becoming his sponsor!
Comment below your favourite thing about Tia!
Photographed: Michelle & Emily