Sulphur Crested Cockatoo chases me to bite my boots.

by Ros
(Adelaide)

Hi, I have recently acquired a Major Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. I had a "word" with it's owners whilst on holiday because it was being contained in a cage about half the size of a dining table on the ground. Not even 1 metre high. The result was the bird was given to me to take and the man said it preferred to stay in the cage and it was a biter. HE was kept in the middle of a tourist tiny town. He cannot see out of one eye either. Well it certainly likes to bite me and will run toward me to bite my boots. ( I learned quickly not to wear soft shoes.) I am not sure whether to keep Charlie or pass him on as I already have companion birds and aviary birds (all rescued) and I don't feel I can give Charlie the amount of attention he deserves. HE tends to go for men's boots and sit on them or snuggle up to the legs inside them.. My partner is spending time with Charlie as well but we have recently tamed a galah and need to spend time with him as well. At the moment Charlie is spending time inside and in the back yard which is high and reasonable safe. I will be back to work on Monday and then he will not have people company from 7.30 am til 5 pm. I feel this is too long - I couldn't trust him to go with the galah in case he hurts her and the other aviaries have lorikeets and cockateils which is impossible. Your thoughts please?

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Apr 04, 2012
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo chases me.....
by: Elizabeth

Dear Ros,
It was kind of you to take Charlie and provide him with a loving home. However most "toos" are high maintenance parrots. Does Charlie run after you and actually bite, or does he just love boots to nip at? Cockatoos get very attached to their owners. He may just be trying to see what's acceptable and what's not. You say he likes to cuddle up to boots. Maybe providing him with an old pair of cuddly boots would rectify that problem.

How many owners has Charlie had? Toos are often birds that demand an inordinate amount of time. If you give it they will expect it every day! It sounds like you already have your hands full with your other parrots. Many well intentioned people take on another pet that they sincerely believe will be better off. If you are going back to work, will your other parrots have company. You didn't say how long you had Charlie, but it takes a while to settle in and get to know each other. Some parrots who have had many homes take years to trust another human.

With patience, love and getting to know Charlie, he may flourish in your home. All birds will nip, but it doesn't mean they are biting. If he draws blood, that is definitely a bite!

I can't tell you whether to keep Charlie or give him away. If you feel you don't have the time for him, please contact an animal rescue centre. They are wonderful at finding homes for older parrots. Or perhaps you have solved this problem with Charlie by now.
Please do let us know how everything has worked out for you and Charlie. If you have questions about your other birds, feel free to write us back.

Thank you,
Elizabeth

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