Here in Costa Rica we visited the Varablanca waterfalls. There’s an enclosure where they keep six friendly toucans. When I saw that people were in there with toucans on their arms I made a dash. I didn’t wait for the group. The colors on these birds are rich and varied and they were friendly but I was told that is because they’ve been well trained to work with visitors. Birds in the wild are not friendly nor should they be bothered.
In their bright coloring they have a little tuft of bright red under their tail feathers where their butt would be if birds had butts. And their feet are blue! It only makes me appreciate the creativity and humor our great God enjoyed using when he created the world.
I first had to convince Craig it was safe to come into the enclosure with the toucans. He saw them flying past people and opted to wait outside. But, I needed him to take this picture. He found it to be interesting afterall, but he would have nothing to do with holding one. I on the other hand had a very nice conversation with this toucan. I copied the tone and topics my mother uses with her pet parrot and told him he was very beautiful and so nice to come sit on my arm for a moment. His little head cocked every which way and his eyes never missed one movement of my face. I think we connected. At least I think he was listening to me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The other tourists looked at me a with a little embarrassment because I was talking to the bird like he could understand, but that’s what you do when a bird sits on your arm. Never underestimate the intelligence of a bird.
One of the women in our group wanted to hold one but she couldn’t find the guide. She asked me how did you get him on your arm. I told her the guide put him there, but all you have to do is hold out your arm and say, “step up”. I thought all birds were taught that command. When I tried it didn’t work. Later I realized they were taught the step up command in Spanish. Oops.