The cockatoo is a member of the parrot family who is highly intelligent and in my opinion the most affectionate of all parrots. There are seventeen species of cockatoos from Australia, East Indies, and the Philippines. They have extremely long life spans of seventy and some upward to one hundred years old. Most cockatoos are white but there are varieties that are gray, pink, or black, with bright markings. All cockatoos have a bald spot on top of their heads with an erectile crest. The crests range in color from white, to pink, to orange to black. Watching the erectile crest you can see how highly expressive the cockatoo really is! The crest is part of their communication.
All parrots require a great deal of attention. Cockatoos require even more. Their ability to love and trust are strictly in your hands. They love to be with you, to play with you and to be loved by you. In the wild the cockatoo mate for life. This is one of the reasons why they bond so strongly to their human owners. Their cage should be big and located in an area where they will receive plenty of attention remember you determine the limitations of their environment. Cockatoos are highly acrobatic and love to play on bird playpens. They need plenty of fun and exciting toys.
Photos courtesy of Cedar Hills Birds - is where I have bought every one of my healthy happy babies! Picture of Black Palm Cockatoo
Some of the different species of cockatoo are the Moluccan, Black Palm, Sulphur Crested, Lesser Sulphur Crested, Goffin and the Umbrella.
Cockatoos have a silky powdery substance that is a protective powder covering their feathers. This powder helps insulate them to keep them warm. This powder gets over everything in your house, if you canít or wonít handle a constant state of dustiness or if you are allergic donít purchase a cockatoo.
Cockatoos can learn to speak a few phrases and words. They are not as good of talkers as Amazons or African Greys. They also will mimic sounds and mannerisms. In fact, their vocal abilities can be rather impressive.
Purchasing a Cockatoo
Purchase your cockatoo from a reputable breeder, dealer, or pet store. Make sure the bird is a legal banded bird. If it is not banded it could be an illegal, smuggled bird. Never encourage smugglers! Many parrots are becoming extinct or endangered. The reason they are becoming endangered and extinct is over exploitation and habitat loss. Look for cockatoo breeders or black palm cockatoo breeders under subjects and then breeders and sellers.
Before you buy and bring home your bird, have him tested by an Avian Veterinarian. These tests should include a complete blood count, (CBC) Chlamydia Screen and a culture of the throat and vent. Make sure a signed veterinarian certificate accompanies the bird. Make sure he looks healthy, with bright and healthy feathers. Check to see if his eyes are bright and shiny. Make sure that he is not ruffled up or hunched over. Check his vent and his droppings. Check out the bottom of the cage for droppings. Make sure the droppings are well formed and not runny. Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a sick bird.
All new birds should be quarantined for at least 8 weeks apart from your other birds.
It is usually wise to choose a bird that has been weaned and is eating on this own. Some of us have been taught to hand feed, but unless you are experienced, this could lead to torn or burned crops, infections and other problems. A hand fed baby cockatoo usually will make the friendlier companion pet.
Cockatoos are natural chewers and will gnaw apart just about everything. Set the cage away from walls, drapes door frames and moldings. Mine ripped the wall paper right off the wall; I didn't like the color anyway. They can also screech very loud. They will mostly screech in the morning or evening. They will screech when they pick up on excitement or listening to music. If he screeches continually all-day, something is wrong. He or she could be ill, lonely, or bored.
Here is the article on how to properly take care of a pet cockatoo. It covers health, nutrition, cages, accessories, and a lot more to help you with your pet cockatoo or to investigate if you are considering a pet cockatoo. Cockatoo - Cage - Diet - Care Sheet
Subscribe free to the Birds newsletter. It is quick and easy. Just glance to the right or scroll a bit to the bottom and subscribe. I will only bug you once a week :) Be the first to be in the know! Your information is always private!
I am also the Exotic Pet editor. If you or someone you know enjoy any of the huge variety of exotic pets; subscribe to the exotic pets newsletter!
Diana Geiger Birds Editoron
Cockatoos Complete Owner's Manual