Dave and Toucan Sam

My friend Dave lives in a duplex with his toucan, Sam, and two turtles. On one floor of his apartment, he has a living room in the front, a kitchen in the middle, and a large room with his computer, a turtle pond, and a birdcage in the back.

As you can see from the video and pictures, Sam’s cage is really big. Sam can fly around a bit in the cage and go from perch to perch. When Dave is home and able to supervise, Sam can fly about in the room.  During COVID I used to have Zoom meetings with Dave and Sam would often be perched on Dave's shoulder during the meetings.

Tucan Sam in his cage

Sam really likes blueberries and grapes. He’ll get those hand fed to him, in addition to the bird food that he eats. The toys that he loves the most are things he can shred. So you see a lot of shredded paper in his cage and outside of it. Sam will spend time tearing apart these toys.

A sheer curtain between Tucan Sam's room and the kitchen

There’s a sheet curtain between the kitchen and the bird room.  That curtain is just enough to keep Sam contained in the room.  There’s also a curtain between Sam and where the turtle pond is.  That’s because Sam, who likes to shred paper, also likes to shred expensive tropical plants that adorn the turtle pond. There is yet another shear curtain in front of a mirror that’s in the room. This is to prevent Sam from attacking the image in the mirror.

The turtle pond has a heat light and a rock at one end and the other end is cooler for the turtles. There is a small waterfall fountain so the water is always moving.  The plants, water, and heat help to create a pretty humid atmosphere for the turtles. Here's a brief video of the turtle pond with Sam complaining som more in the background.

I asked Dave how he got interested in these pets. He’s had a number of hornbill birds and toucans over the years.  What he said really struck a chord with me and got me thinking. He said he loves the jungle and he’ll never go there so he wants to bring a bit of the jungle to his home. While I am not so enamored of the jungle, I think I like to have my pets because they bring a certain energy and atmosphere to my home.  Everyone is different and likes to have different surroundings and there are lots of different types of pets that can enhance and create a certain milieu in their home.  Whether it is the happy glad-to-see-you dog energy, the reserved and curious cat energy, the do-your-own-thing-I’m-cool- reptile energy, or the adorable guinea pig energy, there are lots of ways that animals can contribute to the background feel of your home. What do you think?

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