I'm afraid of my umbrella cockatoo

by Ellen
(Tampa Bay Florida)

I love my umbrella cockatoo, I've had him about 7 years and he's 15 going on 16 years old. In the past 3 to 6 months he started getting more agressive. I would let him out of his cage and pet him and he'd love it, then he'd attack me, start biting me - drawing blood. This happened so often (never knew what triggered it) that I realize now I'm terrified of this bird. I haven't taken him out of his cage for a few weeks and although I pet him when he passes me a foot, i'm still extremely cautious. Once time i was putting food in his container and I carelessly had my thumb inside his cage, he came after it - drawing blood.


Also, he screams when i'm not in the room to the point where once i get home - i can't leave the living room until I'm ready to turn off all of the lights and go to bed.

I'm miserable. What can I do? I love him, but I can't stand keeping him anymore.

Comments for I'm afraid of my umbrella cockatoo

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Mar 27, 2012
I'm afraid of my Umbrella Cockatoo
by: Elizabeth

Cockatoos are very dependent parrots that, once they get a certain amount of attention they will screech incessantly until they get it. A lot of parrot species can be very independent, but the Cockatoo is definitely, not one of them! I have many different species of parrots, whom have bitten me.

I understand you acquired this bird when he was fully mature. If he has had many homes, it is understandable why he is so unpredictable. Parrots have excellent memories. If in one of his previous homes, he was hurt, neglected or people just gave up on him, he will remember this. So it may very well be that he remembers, what another owner has done. Unfortunately you may be the innocent recipient, from another's actions. A bite from these birds can be quite painful, and parrots can smell fear.

Before you give up on a parrot you've owned for many years, please try a few suggestions. Check to see if he's molting, with possible "pin feathers" which can be bothersome to a parrot. Let him out of the cage more often, when you can. Try to let him just observe you, and let him come to you. If he does bite you without you even touching him, put him on a perch where he can still see you. When he is sharing time with you, give him a treat.
A perch is invaluable, since in the bird's point of view he is only being moved to another place. If you cage him when he bites, he only sees this as going into his home, nest and in a lot of cases reinforces the bad behavior. If he is kept in the cage too long, he will resent this.

Do you have a regular routine for him? This may be why he started biting if his routine is disrupted. Also if you touch your Cockatoo around the crown and down his back, this can illicit sexual feelings. So he may be frustrated. Cockatoos when sexually stimulated will often shake their bodies in a vigorously climaxing way. This can lead to aggressive behavior.

Lastly, has he been checked by an Avian Vet, he may not be well. I hope this has been of some help. Please do let us know how your beautiful Parrot is doing. Thank you for writing.

Elizabeth

Feb 16, 2011
Try not to show fear
by: Anonymous

You must somehow try not to show fear and you must give the bird at least 1 hour out of the cage each day. I suggest getting the bird off the cage on to a play stand because the bird has reached maturity and is probably territorial over the cage. You can wear gloves or use a wooden perch to avoid getting bitten and have the bird step up from BEHIND it's feet (placing your hand with glove on or perch in BACK of the feet).

If you haven't already done so, read Jill's response on the Cockatoo Blog page. You'll find it on the left column. She answers a couple of similar questions extensively.

Thanks for submitting your question.

aStepUpBird.com
David & Marcia Abraham

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