Our Toco Toucan Arrival Story and a BIG Thank You!

Our Toco Toucan Arrival Story and a BIG Thank You!

 September 4th, 2011
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Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Kent, WA
On my arm: 2 month old Toco Toucan “Rocko”

 It all started by half-joking about wishing I had the funds to buy a toco toucan; my dream bird, when we received an outpouring of love beyond my wildest dreams from our entire facebook friends list. And now, as I write this, Rocko gently plucks at the keyboard begging for my attention…

As many of you know, we were devastated by the sudden loss of Fiji, our Swainson Toucan. She was like a daughter to us for more than 6 years – traveling to 20 countries, performing in 2,000+ shows all over the world, and sleeping right beside us almost every night.


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Saipan, MP
Pictured with: Swainson Toucan “Fiji”

We searched high and low to find another toucan, and discovered that the US had put a ban on importing them. The only thing available domestically were breeder pairs or 6 year olds swainsons. Since we didn’t want to “replace” Fiji, we decided to just wait it out, and had thought we’d never have another toucan.

Nearly 9 months after Fiji passed, I received an email from Chad Jenson saying he had just hatched a clutch of Toco’s. As if that wasn’t enough, he sent me one of those painfully ugly-but-cute photos of the clutch… so young their eyes weren’t even open. I suppressed the though of owning one, since I didn’t have an extra $10,000 set aside for a toucan.


Photo provided by Chad Jensen

A couple weeks later I received another picture, and cracked up when I saw their little expressions developing.


Photo provided by Chad Jensen

It was at that point that I decided to post the picture on our facebook, and it all went fast from there.

Several people commented about how I should start a donation account, so they could help me get one of the babies. Although the thought was generous, I shrugged it off as I didn’t truly believe that I could raise $10,000 and I didn’t want to be stuck with $2,000 in donations and have to refund it. Meanwhile, one of our friends kept writing me saying they’d help with a large donation. I really didn’t think it would happen, so again I shrugged it off.

After nearly 3 emails, I decided this person might be serious enough, so I replied to find out more. To my shock, they donated half – now I was motivated.


Photo provided by Chad Jensen

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you who made it possible for us to buy Rocko, our new baby Toco Toucan. We decided on the name Rocko, since he is a DNA sexed male and I was always a fan of “Rocko’s Modern Life”. Someone suggested the name Rocky on the facebook, which is pretty close! I think he will be growing into his name as time goes on, and it really suits him.

The other day I was telling this story to my mother when she said, “Wow, I bet those people who helped donated don’t even have any idea how much this really means to you!” and all I could say was, “Actually, I think they do.”


Photo by Nathan Slabaugh
Location: Kent, WA
Showing Rocko what he’ll grow up to look like: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

By the massive response we get on our toucan posts, I KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you all understand how huge this is for me and how much it really does mean.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart…

Lisa Dunne
Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey
Cheryl Campbell
Kai Bansner
Chad Jensen
Erica Loria
Jyoti Hardat
Gregg DePorter
Borut Zupancic
Lou Buckner
Connie Hess

And all of you who constantly pestered us to take you seriously about donating and raising the money for us to get such a beautiful pet. We promise to share every moment with all of you and will be uploading videos and pictures as often as possible to share.

All updates and blog posts about Rocko will only be posted here on our blog so check back for updates on our little fella.

Love to you all…


Related Links:

To learn about Fiji’s passing, please read the following blog articles written by Jamieleigh:

To friend us on facebook, copy and paste or click on the following URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BirdTrickscom/10162906198 or search for “BirdTricks.com”.

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7 Comments on “Our Toco Toucan Arrival Story and a BIG Thank You!”

Janine  09/05/2011 8:11 am

What a cool bird!!! Love his ‘banana beak’!!! Congrats on the new addition!!!

Heidi  09/05/2011 10:33 am

What wonderful animal! -Heidi

(Side note: Isn’t the Ringling Broth. circus accused of abusing heir animals?)

Liz  09/05/2011 1:39 pm

Congratulations! Little Rocko has found himself a very good home. My almost 16-year old cockatiel, Rufus, died very suddenly almost two years ago and I’m not over the loss yet. He and I spent a LOT of time together and I was shattered when he left. These feathered folk sure get to you, don’t they? I hope you and Rocko enjoy many, many years together!

cheryl rae  09/05/2011 3:41 pm

What a cutie pie he is…… welcome rocko!

fenna huisamen  09/06/2011 1:19 am

I am so happy for you as person who has such a love for birds
and does such a lot for them could manage to get such a lovely
bird. Wouldnt it have been nice if you could manage to get a
female and breed with them. He is bautiful, enjoy Rocky.

South Africa

sana  09/08/2011 11:25 am

Congratulations! They are so cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee pieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Haylynn  09/08/2011 7:26 pm

Wow, Hello rocko! 🙂