What’s seven feet tall, has six feet and rainbow feathers? The Bird Man of Yuba City holding two scarlet macaws over his head as a part of the newest addition to our Roadside Distraction series.
On just about any day, in the evenings, on the weekdays and in the mornings on the weekends, you will likely find Kenneth Du walking with a bounce in his step down Stabler Avenue in Yuba City.
He’s hard to miss. There’s the red hat with the flap in the back, black socks, red shorts and a scarlet macaw with nearly every color of the rainbow on each gloved hand. At every corner, he stops, lifts either Hope or Care above his head, lowers the bird, kisses it, and then does the same for the other.
He got his first bird in 2009. But like the fountain pens he collected and now designs, he wanted more from this hobby.
“I felt having birds wasn’t enough. I’m an active person. I wanted to do more than just raise birds. So, I decided, hey, let’s try walking around the neighborhood with birds,” Du said.
And that’s how he came to be known as the Bird Man.
He started by walking short distances at first. It didn’t take long to realize five-pound birds get heavy quickly.
“The first few months of doing this, I couldn’t even sleep. Both of my hands were numb. I just got so sore, working muscles I didn’t even know I have,” Du continued.
He has five Facebook pages, each devoted to a different topic, like the 14 marathons he's run, poetry (He claims to be the "Father of Modern Poetry"), sunglasses, and his title of "Grand Prince of the Ancient Imperial Du Dynasty."
But, the one that gets the most attention is “BirdMan & Averxise” an exercise program he invented. He says he combined aviary and exercise to come up with the name. He has even written a manual.
“Averxise is a new, original concept: It’s walking, playing, exercising with birds. They fly on command. It’s kind of like walking a dog except you’re flying a dog,” Du explained.
A macaw-walking, fountain-pen making, poetry-writing, marathon-running grand prince is quite the roadside distraction indeed.