NEW YORK (PIX11) — He’s a song and dance man who loves to entertain. Chris is a 21-year-old cockatoo with tens of thousands of fans worldwide.
It’s been said that birds of a feather flock together, but not this precocious bird. This cockatoo stands alone as one of the most affectionate and charismatic members of the parrot family. And yes, he can speak, squealing out a “hello” to greet visitors to his Westchester home where he lives with his adoring keeper, Alison Minton.
“He’s very funny and he brings a lot of joy to people,” Minton told PIX11 News. “He just has that star power, everywhere he goes he just charms people. People love him.”
They love Chris so much, he has 120,000 followers on TikTok and another 105,000 on Instagram. He gets so much mail, Chris has his own postal box at the Katonah post office, where he receives gifts from his lovable fans.
Minton showed off a Cockatoo pencil sent to Chris from Australia, hoodies that were custom made, along with an oversized sweater with his likeness sewed into it.
“He has a whole drawer in the back with all his goodies,” she added.
Chris has received as much as $1,000 for public appearances, and he has an agent. He’s appeared on “Saturday Night Live” with Daniel Craig, and he’s been on an episode of the “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He’s also starred in commercial presentations for Walmart and Neiman Marcus.
Back at his home in Westchester, Chris shrieks “Barbara, Barbara,” as he affectionately calls out to Minton’s mother, Barbara, who is battling Alzheimer’s.
“He enjoys to say Barbara and he keeps her busy for hours. He talks to her, comforts her,” Minton explained.
And he apparently does chores around the house too. In one video, Chris is seen with a sponge, helping Minton with some housecleaning. He also enjoys imitating his favorite toy – a rubber chicken – with a rendition of “cluck, cluck, cluck.”
Though adorable and entertaining, there are also times this cockatoo can be a bit difficult to handle.
“The naughty side is when he’ll do things you tell him not to do. He thinks it’s funny. I treat him like my child; he feels like my child, we’ve been together for 21 years,” Minton said.
This bird is not a homebody, either. He loves going into town to the local pizzeria for a bite to eat. While in town one day, Chris ran into a neighbor, former President Bill Clinton, who found the boisterous cockatoo to be adorable.
Chris isn’t allowing dust to gather beneath his wings. He has a hectic fall schedule and is currently vying for a $10,000 prize in the America’s Favorite Pet contest. He also has a pet wellness event coming up at the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan.