Say tweet-tweet to the Cockatoo.
Let’s get to know our little Australasian wingman, shall we?
Friendly, fun, and side-splitting silly.
Sure, Cockatoos will show their wings, raise their crest and display themselves like the proud birds they are. But turn as much of a feather, and they’re friendly little flappers who love being petted and snuggled. However, be prepared – a young Cockatoo will become very committed and connected to you, like one of their own. And as such, you’ll need to put playtime at the top of the pecking order. You may as well get used to it now, because they can live up to 60 years, folks.
More looks than a Kardashian.
There are 21 species of the Australian Cockatoo (bird family, Cacatuidae). These boisterous birds come in all sizes and colours, which include black and red; black and yellow; black and white; true white; yellow-crested; sulphur-crested and salmon-crested. He also may be short-billed, long-billed, yellow-tailed or red-tailed. The names of Cockatoos get even better: Major Mitchell; Eleonora; Fitzroy; Blue-Eyed or Palm Cockatoo, which is black with red cheeks. As for types, you can choose from Galahs, Corellas and Cockatiels. How’s that for the whole can of worms?
Cockatoos break for buddies.
It’s best to give your beaky buddy plenty of friendship and toys: Neglect will lead to uncontrolled screaming or restless feather-picking – all habits that are hard to break. You’ll also notice that when Cockatoos are bored, they’ll chew anything made of wood. So, if he’s hanging outside of his cage, hide anything you don’t want tagged with a beak mark.
Another behaviour you may get a bird’s eye view of, is your Cockatoo raising his chest. This means he is either excited or alarmed. Just singin’.
What else makes Cockatoos such characters?
- They enjoy the tweet life in large flocks, and often breed in hollow logs. Whatever works!
- The Yellow-Tailed, Black Cockatoo is one tough birdie: He can actually tear open thick branches, to get to the grubs and insects.
- The Long-Billed Corella digs with the best of dogs, so he can get to tasty roots.
- All but the Cockatiel can use their feet to hold food items. How’s that for a party trick?
- Cockatoos love to chew on branches and timber to exercise their beaks and beat boredom.
- Larger Cockatoos are slow to mature, and generally raise about one baby, per clutch. But they live a long time, so they really get to enjoy being empty-nesters.
- Smaller Cockatoos generally average about two babies per clutch. And more than likely, they’ll sing them to sleep.
All the best with your Cockatoo companion, pet-lovers!