Turacos: A Love Story

One thing is for certain- Amadeus’ handicap has never affected his confidence with the ladies. For quite a while he was considered to be the “James Bond” of Pandemonium; handsome, charming, and always surprising. Often guests are so endeared by the Lady Ross Turaco’s personality that it takes them a few minutes before realizing that Amadeus is missing a leg.

For years he greeted Pandemonium’s visitors happily in his aviary, hopping around on his one leg and showing off a blueberry in his beak or flexing his wings to reveal the red feathers underneath.

Then came Kenya.

Kenya is a Violet Turaco that came from an Oregon Humane Society after being left outside and abandoned. She is, in most ways, the polar opposite of Amadeus. Where he runs forward to greet people, Kenya will hide away, shy and afraid of humans. We hoped that the two birds would be friends, since they are both of the Turaco family. What we didn’t expect was for something more.

For years they kept to themselves, sharing the aviary but not interacting much. And things continued like that until Kenya, shy as she was, began to flirt with Amadeus.

Amadeus, of course, played hard to get. We did not expect our “James Bond” to settle down after years of bachelorhood. But before long, Amadeus’ attention shifted from the world around him to the bird in front of him. And despite the different personalities, the different subspecies, and even the different number of legs, the two birds fell in love.

Amadeus and Kenya are happy as any couple would be, and it doesn’t take a bird expert to see it. The two spend their days preening at each other’s feathers and playing games of tag, interrupted only to say hello to volunteers who pass by his aviary. And although Kenya is still too timid to accept a blueberry by hand, Amadeus is considerate enough of his mate to accept the fruit on her behalf and immediately turns to feed it to her himself.

So in the end, despite the different personalities, the different subspecies, and even the different number of legs, the two birds fell in love. And they’ve been happily sharing blueberries ever since.

By Brittany Webb, Pandemonium Aviaries Intern