A sulphur-crested cockatoo full of character, Percy has made the lives of Russell and Diana anything but boring since his adoption from RSPCA South Australia in 2015.
One of the more unique animals we’ve seen grace our Lonsdale shelter, this cheeky bird couldn’t be further from conventional.
With his stubborn nature and love for attention, Russell says Percy is a bit of a drama-queen who constantly keeps him and Diana on their toes!
‘When we heard his story, we knew he was the one for us’
Percy’s backstory is as mysterious as his appearance. When the spirited cockatoo found a loving home with Russell and Diana, he was almost completely bald and had a very overgrown beak.
Back in 2015, Diana called our Lonsdale shelter in search of a bird for her and Russell. When Percy’s name came up, the pair knew they had to meet him.
“We were told he had been nursed back to health before he was available for adoption and was quite standoffish,” Russell tells us.
But as soon as Russell walked into his cage, the scruffy-looking bird nestled up to him straight away. It was meant to be!
“Due to his rather eccentric looks, they hadn’t had many enquiries about him, so when we heard his story, we knew he was the one for us,” Russell says.
Short walks and neighbourhood friends for this flightless bird
When Russell and Diana welcomed Percy into their home, the cockatoo was unable to fly due to prior damage to his wings. But this only meant that Russell could take Percy for short walks down the street with him!
“He’s made friends with some of our neighbours,” Russell informs.
“They were quite intrigued when they drove home to find me with a scruffy-looking cocky on my shoulder!”
And it doesn’t stop at human neighbours – Russell says Percy loves talking to neighbourhood birds too!
‘For all his faults, I just love living with him’
There’s no denying that Percy is a unique one. With his unpredictable nature and sly favouritism of Russell, he certainly makes life interesting.
“Sometimes he strikes you as the cliché grumpy old man,” Russell jokes. “Diana swears that he has some sort of vendetta against her.
“But we call him our ‘guard cocky’. If someone comes down the driveway, we just hear this screech.”
Scruffy Percy is a curious and outgoing bird, who takes an interest in everything Russell does, having even made a habit of crawling onto him when being fed.
“For all his faults, I just love living with him,” Russell says.
“I am always glad we decided to see what RSPCA’s shelter had when we were looking for a bird.”
A peaceful home for Percy’s final days
To our great sadness, Percy the flightless cockatoo suddenly passed away only a week before this post was published.
But, after forever touching the life of Russell, his legacy lives on.
“As sad as it was to lose him, I’m glad that his last few years were able to be as happy as they were.
“To see his progression from the scruffy thing he was when we brought him home, to the slightly less scruffy little man who would climb up my arm or walk over for a cuddle when I walked into his cage, really made me feel glad to have had the chance to adopt him.
“He really reinforced the ‘adopt, don’t shop’ mantra for me. To bring joy to the life of an animal who had such a rough start is a rewarding feeling that can’t be described, but has to be experienced to be fully comprehended.”
Rest in peace, Percy.
We send our deepest condolences to Russell and Diana and are so thankful they provided such a beautiful home for Percy’s remaining years. If you’re considering opening your heart and home to a rescued animal, head over here to see all our animals currently available for adoption.