Buttercup was hatched in captivity in 2004. His parents would not care for him, so he was transferred to a permitted rehabilitator. Unfortunately, while he was under the rehabilitator’s care, Buttercup became imprinted on humans. Birds do not automatically know what they are when they’re born — they visually imprint on their caregivers and identify with that species for life. Buttercup no longer fears people and therefore cannot be released into the wild. Prior to his arrival at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Buttercup was an educational animal at another facility in Virginia. He came to the Wildlife Center in September 2011.
In February 2013, the Wildlife Center tested Buttercup's DNA to determine the bird's gender; it was never before been confirmed and had been assumed that Buttercup was a female. The results: Buttercup is a male!