When Onni the cockatoo’s daddy came home, the bird was instantly alert. It was unclear how, but he knew his human was outside somewhere. Onni had been waiting for this moment all day, and as his daddy approached, the cockatoo unleashed his pent-up energy.
The bird in question is Onni, a young umbrella cockatoo that lives with his family in Hixson, Tennessee. Among his people are his human daddy, his mommy Rebecca Stout and his human sibling Sean Stout. Needless to say, they are a family of animal lovers.
That’s evident because Onni isn’t the Stout’s first pet or their only bird. In addition to the cockatoo, they have also owned a cockatiel called Sunny. They’ve even cared for ferrets in the past, including a very special one called Rocky.
Rocky helped Sean Stout cope with his autism, and thus the family discovered just how therapeutic pets can be. In addition, Rebecca Stout found that the internet loves watching videos of her animals’ antics. Recently, Onni is the household’s social media darling.
Onni’s breed, which are also known simply as white cockatoos, actually originate in Indonesia. Furthermore, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they’re endangered in the wild. That’s primarily a consequence of deforestation and people catching them for use as pets.
Indeed, the Stouts are all too aware of the plight of the cockatoos. As a result, Rebecca issued a statement on her YouTube page. She wrote, “Make sure that if you get a pet bird they are captive bred or from a shelter.”
Onni’s a prime example of why cockatoos are a popular pet, though; they’re beautiful birds. Just like the parrots that they’re related to, umbrella cockatoos are capable of mimicking human speech. But their most distinguishing physical characteristic is their crest.
Cockatoos possess a crown of head feathers that they can consciously lift or lower to communicate. Not only are crests used to “talk” to other cockatoos, but they make the birds look bigger when raised. It’s a defense mechanism that the cockatoos employ to scare potential threats.
But Onni has little fear of threats in his loving home; instead, his nature is true to his name. On Rebecca Stout’s YouTube channel, she reveals Onni has a meaning in another language. “Onni means luck and happiness in Finnish,” she wrote, “and that sure is what he brings to this world.”
If Stout’s YouTube channel is anything to go by, that statement’s definitely true. Take the video Stout uploaded on April 22, 2018, for example. It shows Onni’s reaction when his daddy comes home from work, and it couldn’t be more heart-melting.
The video begins with Onni sitting on the windowsill, watching something in the distance. Suddenly, he starts pacing the ledge and squawking at the top of his voice. It’s the moment that Onni has been waiting for all day.
The cockatoo has seen his beloved daddy walking down the driveway, and he’s calling out to him. But Onni can’t stand to wait for his human to come through the door. He flies over to the couch as an off-camera Stout talks to him.
“Where’s Daddy?” Stout shouts to Onni, as he flies over to watch the door. But the cockatoo’s gone the wrong way; Daddy’s looking through the window for his feather baby. “He’s over here,” Stout laughs. Remarkably, Onni even joins in with her giggling.
Stout encourages Onni to perch on her hand, then takes him over to the window to see his daddy. When Onni sees him, the cockatoo starts shouting again, as though he’s trying to get his human’s attention. He succeeds too – Daddy heads for the front door.
“Hello Buddy,” Onni shouts, flying across to the couch and running along it again. He knows his best friend’s arriving at any minute – but when? Stout asks Onni, “Where is he?,” and the cockatoo dashes to the top of the stairs to wait.
He doesn’t have to wait long, either. Within seconds, his daddy comes through the door with a familiar term of affection. “Where’s my buddy?” Onni’s human shouts, opening the door. The cockatoo couldn’t be happier to see him.
On seeing Daddy, Onni literally jumps for joy, hopping across the floor in his ecstasy. Subsequently, the cockatoo seems to play peek-a-boo with his daddy, running in and out of his view. “Are you excited? Is Daddy home?” his human dad asks Onni.
Onni calms down when Daddy approaches, and the two meet on the stairs. Then they share a touching moment when Onni’s human bends down to his bird’s level. The cockatoo responds by tenderly placing his foot on Daddy’s face and gently kissing him with his beak.
Daddy picks Onni up and places the bird onto his shoulder. Then the video ends with daddy and bird joyfully reunited. Animal lovers went mad for the upload – it’s had 696,216 views and 22,000 likes to date. But according to Stout, this lovable greeting isn’t a one-off.
“Every day like clockwork, baby Onni waits for his daddy to come home from work,” Stout wrote. “Somehow, [Onni] knows what time he’s due home even though it’s never the same time each day. Some days, he cheerfully calls to him and dances. But other times, it goes like this.”