Aroids and other genera in the Collection    Take the Tour Now?    Orchids

The Exotic Rainforest

Blue and gold macaw, Ara Ararauna
Ara ararauna
The Blue and Gold Macaw

What a character!  Wizard, our Blue and Gold macaw, dances, talks and basically rules the atrium!  Wizard is one of the most perfect "pets" we've ever had in our home.  And believe it or not, she is fairly quite for a macaw!  She can scream, but normally only when she wants attention. 

One night recently it was raining quite hard outside.  "Wizzy" did not like the rain.  She repeatedly said "stop it", "stop it", stop it"!  One evening, I was eating a small slice of watermelon, Wizard went ballistic!  I offered her a piece and she immediately said "thank you"!  A few days later I gave her another piece and she looked directly into my eyes and asked, "do you like it"?  It is almost as though she knows exactly what she is saying!  And she knows exactly how to steal your heart!  When she wants my attention she bobs her head and reaches for my hand.  She always lightly grabs my index finger and then wildly shakes her head up and down without letting go.  My guess is that is her way of letting me know she likes me!  And everyone who meets "Wizzy" almost immediately falls in love!  Especially the kids.

Common to the rain forests of northern South America, our friend Joep Moonen (pronounced yupe) from French Guiana often tells me stories of the flocks of these beautiful birds that fly around his home.  And chew on his prized plants!  So far that has not happened in the Exotic Rainforest.  Wizard is perfectly capable of flight, she just normally does not make an attempt.  The reason?  She is apparently happy living in her gigantic "home".  The door of her large cage is open all day long and well into the night, and she knows exactly where the food and water can be found!  She has made a "trip" or two around the atrium, but most of the time she prefers to do that "on foot".  But she can get up into the highest points of the atrium if she chooses! 

My grand children have discovered if they sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", or almost any song to Wizzy, she will "dance" as long as they sing!  She sits on her perch, or the door of the cage, and sways back and forth to the beat.  And she can keep almost perfect time!  And to make her talk, just turn on the vacuum cleaner!  Something about the noise makes her want to "converse".

Almost every evening, while we are having dinner in the kitchen, in marches Wizard!  She loves to climb up the side of my wheelchair and perch on the arm of the chair.  The reason?  Food!   She always wants to sample whatever we're having for dinner!  That, along with begging to have her head, neck and back rubbed (she calls that "scratchies")!  Just ask her if she wants some "scratchies" and she'll usually drop her head!  Sometime she'll tell us!  

But when the sun sets, "Wizzy" is a real home body.  There is a perch at the very top of her cage and she voluntarily climbs up there almost every evening.  Now, every once-in-a-while she can be as contrary as a three year old refusing to go to bed!  But when she refuses to "go to bed" I simply take a long stick and tap on the top of the cage.  She knows what that means!  And off she goes with a final word each and every night: "La La".  To her, that means good-night!  Apparently someone somewhere taught her that phrase thinking it was Swahili for "night-night". Look it up!  We got a really good laugh!