Fun Cockatoo Facts
Cockatoos are one of the more popular types of birds to keep as pets.
They generally have white feathers but some have black, grey, or pink feathers as well. Some species that are the most popular are Tanimbar corella, the Moluccan cockatoo, red-vented cockatoo, yellow-crested cockatoo, and palm cockatoo. Favored subspecies are the white cockatoo (Sulphur-crested cockatoo, Cacatua galerita, and Major Mitchell’s cockatoo) and the Goffin’s cockatoo.
Read on for more fun cockatoo facts:
They’re chatty, and like to scream. Cockatoos can be taught some words but don’t have the ability to fully mimic human speech. So a cockatoo will squawk, and the squawking is sometimes accompanied by loud screaming. A talkative cockatoo may speak about 20 words or so and learn some simple expressions over the years. They might also babble and chatter. Since they’re are so loud, they’re not exactly suited for apartment living. If the cockatoo lives in a loud, noisy home, it will just get louder and more boisterous. This bird is at its best living in a quiet house without confusion and noise.
They can be cuddly – mostly: Cockatoos are known as the cuddliest of parrots – they even like to be petted by strangers. They bond with humans and love attention. Many have playful and friendly personalities. However, some can be affectionate and loving for years until they become sexually mature, and then become a whole different bird. Their demeanor and behavior can also drastically change during breeding season.
They’re smart: They can solve problems and can get themselves into trouble if not watched when out of their cages. It’s been reported that they’re smarter than human toddlers. Not only are they intelligent, they’re also social. They can become bored quickly because of their need for interaction. If a cockatoo isn’t kept entertained, it may start self-mutilation and feather plucking.
Their show their moods with their crests: A cockatoo’s crest can be an indicator of how their emotions are running. Their crests are used to ward predators away, and also to show their excitement. If their crest is raised, your bird is alert, agitated or excited. When you see your bird raise their crest and begin to dance, they can switch to aggression quickly. If their crest is lowered, then your bird is feeling submissive. Or if their crest is relaxed, the cockatoo is resting, eating or in a contented state.
You won’t be able to tell their gender without a DNA test: Cockatoos are dimorphic, which means that the male and female of the species are almost identical. So it’s difficult to distinguish the sex of the cockatoo that you purchase. Some of the species do have a subtle difference, but you would have to have to birds side by side to see any difference. Some males may be a bit bigger than a female, or their feathers may be a little bolder. But, in many of the cockatoos, males have dark irises and female have light colored eyes. The only real way to tell, however, is to have a DNA test to determine the sex by sending some of your bird’s feathers to a lab.
And there you have it! Some fun facts about Cockatoos! Does this make you want to add one to your family? Visit Veterinarians.com to find an avian vet near you!