T Nation

Umbrella Cockatoos are the Best Birds

\Ko, I wondered if you had any comment on the subject of this thread? :slight_smile:

I have an umbrella cockatoo myself, and he’s certainly the best bird, although my fiancee does not think so (however, she is wrong.)

Hey, Bill: I didn’t know you had a Umbrella! Wow. Yeah, they’re great birds. We call ours (Kato - named after Bruce Lee’s character in The Green Hornet), “Big Baby” - cuz that’s what he is. He’s a happy camper if he get’s hugged and cuddled all day long.

Is your Umbrella skittish around your fiancee? You know birds can sense when people are edgy around them and that makes them (the birds) edgy, too.

I can’t agree or disagree with you. Cockatoos are great birds (we have two, an Umbrella and a Lesser Sulphur Crested), but they are also a handfull. Imagine having a terrible 2 year old for 70 years, and that is an Umbrella Cockatoo. Our African Grey is actually easier to deal with, and not as noisy, but he is also a little neurotic. We also have a Half Moon Conure, that now spoiled, and can be very noisy, and a Peach faced Lovebird that is a complete bitch (but very beautiful). If we had the room, I would not mind having a Macaw or Amazon and Pat wants a Caique. In other words, we’re bird nuts and don’t have a preference. But if any one out there is considering buying a large parrot (ESPECIALLY A COCKATOO), do your homework before you do it. How old is your Cockatoo? Ours is 3, and Our Sulphur Crested is 6.

I had a female Red Tailed Black Cockatoo when I lived in OZ. She was named Shiva, aftrer the Hindu godess of destruction, due to her ability to tear railway sleepers apart. She died in surgery having a syst removed aged 7.

Kahuna: I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. Trust me, I know how hard it is to lose a “feathered friend”.

Bill: Also, Cockatoos are traditionally, a one person bird. Of course you can avoid this "issue" by doing what we did: get your Umbrella use to others by playing "hot potato". You know, Ko and I would take turns in who carried our birdies around the house. And when people come over, we let them either handle Kato or "scratch" him.

Ah, aren't birds great?!

Pete, my umbrella, is 2 years old. I’ve only had him since February. His first home was with someone who wasn’t able to spend enough time with him, leaving him in a cage every weekend for 3 days while he was off on trips, and then he lived a year like a king in the only pet store I’ve seen yet that really offers a great environment for birds.

Patricia, there’s really no hope between him and my fiancee because, even though she ought to be an animal person and able to handle more exotic animals, herself having a blue and gold macaw (who bites), a young double-yellow-headed Amazon (who bites), a cockatiel (who doesn’t bite), turtles (one of whom she says is mean and would bite your finger off, but I haven’t found that to be so), and a pit bull puppy, and who has even had a vulture (who bit) her tolerance for my bird is zero.
Unfortunately he bit her on the chin in his first few days home, at a time when she was being nice to him, and since then she tends to act hostile towards him, sometimes very much so, and I think she actually subconsciously seeks to set up situations where she can blame the bird further. As you said, cockatoos don’t do well with people not acting calm around them, let alone hostile.

He does very well with everyone else though and is a perfect bird with me :slight_smile:

He does not even ever wake me up in the morning, which is probably really rare for cockatoos. And I don’t get up until 10 AM at the earliest if I can help it.

He even does well with my cat and preens her.
This is possible only because my cat is about the meekest, most non-aggressive cat in the world. She likes staying in his room near him, sleeping on the floor a few feet away, and sometimes I have both in my lap at the same time. (I make a point of it always being clear to Pete that he’s #1, for my cat’s safety. She gets to be #1 everywhere else in the house so it’s fair enough.)

Of course I’m fortunate in being able to work at home, otherwise it would not be so good for Pete.

To Kahuna: Wow, a Black Cockatoo, I have only see of those in here, and they wanted 11 grand for him, that sucks that she past away.

To Bill: That's too bad about your fiance, Umbrellas are the most lovable of the Cockatoos. Once they lose your trust though, it is very hard to get it back, birds are not like dogs, in that there love is conditional.

Yeah, she was beautiful. In OZ at that time I paid about a grand US for her. The females have yellow spots all over with a red tail, while the males are solid black with a red tail. Unfortunately, she was never very healthy, and extremely neurotic. I will never use that breeder again. I had her from very young, hand feeding her 4 times a day. She always hated other people, even though I always tried to socialise her. No one else wanted to come near her with that huge beak and such a loud squaak. Once I was watching tv with her on my shoulder and wasnt paying attention. I had just moved in with a friend, and didn’t notice the elcectricity cord for the airco running along behind me. She bit through it, there was a huge bang and luckily the safety switch cut out the power or we would both have been killed! I really miss her.

If you want some more information over umbrella cockatoos, maybe try a search for “Corella”, because that is what we call them in Australia. (I think.) In South Australia where I am from, they are one of the most common wild cockatoos.

I’ve heard that the Black Cockatoos are not the best pets, probably because they are still pretty wild. You may want to try an Umbrella, Galah (Roseate) or Sulphur Crested. They have been bred in captivivty a little longer, and lost a little more of their wild instinct, than the more exotic breeds.

Yeah, my father has a sulphur crested and I had a galah, but I think I’ll have a break from bird ownership for a while. When I move back to OZ I think I’ll get a Cockatiel or a Gang-Gang. Gang gangs are much smaller than redtailed blacks, and not so noisy! Their squaak sounds like a squeaky door closing, and they have an incredible crest, like a patch of pink weeds are growing out of their head!