Animal Stories - Mollucan Cockatoo


Animal-World Information about: Mollucan Cockatoo

   The Moluccan Cockatoo has an orangish pink accent in its crest, and a lightly tint on the body!
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ALAN - 2010-01-10
A study of the too in a common household.

I'm not a professional trainer or a breeder. I've just had lots of experience with too's owning one and being involved with them in other families, pet stores, vets, etc. Being in a small town, I get the phone calls to come assist with large birds because their owners are afraid of them or even the vet is a bit afraid. The most important thing is don't let your too rule you - and they will if you think of them as an object or a conversation piece. They are almost human! LOL! Little feathered boogers.

I have a 12 year old too named Ziggy. He is definitely the boss and the joy of the house hold. World's best doorbell and burglar alarm. LOL! He notices things outside even before the dog does.

Too's are wonderful birds and wonderful pets if you have the courage and the patient nature it will take you'll be a good "daddy" or "mommy". They are the most affectionate of all the birds and that's what draws people to them. They can play so coy and sweet. But, be prepared as your mighty too will be a perpetual 2 year old for his/her entire life. They are very curious and get bored easily if not interacted with all the time. Hence the antique furniture and everything else getting chewed up if you are not watching them like a 2 year old.

Extremely intelligent and can have a very large vocabulary if you work with them. Ziggy can carry on a full conversation with you and it makes sense. He can argue, reason and barter with you. Loves people. Laughs like a human. You just really need to know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to get one of these mighty birds. They can be very sneaky and they have great precision with their beaks. They can peel wallpaper right off of the wall and also remove the label off a CD without damaging the plastic. They also act out if they are mad or during a full moon.

They want to be a part of your world and they are almost human. They want to do what you do and go where you go. Indoor or outdoor. Ziggy will follow you right out the back door and into the back yard. They are the world's best snugglers and will just love all over you. They are EXTREMELY LOUD!!! I mean, hear them 5 blocks away loud! Ear piercing shreiking scream! You just can't have a too if you are in an apartment. No way. And there's no way to quiet them either. With work they won't scream as much but that is still part of their nature and a game. If Ziggy gets on a screaming binge I go scream with him. He loves it! It's a game and he'll calm down very quickly if I play with him and scream.

For example, when we first got Ziggy it was in the fall and warm enough to have the windows open. He wasn't secure in his surroundings yet so he did do a lot of screaming. Neighbors showed up and were ready to call the police. They wanted to know what autistic child we were beating! That's not a joke! That really happened! They lived 3 blocks away.

They aren't usually, however they will bite if threatened or scared. A loud sound like a truck backfire may cause the bird to nip you simply because it depends on you to protect it. That's your cue to get rid of the scary thing. If they are mad they will bite. If they are on you and feel like you aren't paying enough attention they will bite. "If bird is displeased - bird will let you know!" Converse with the bird. They love to talk back and its so interesting to watch them shape that tongue and beak trying so hard to form words and talk back. They are so sincere in their response. They want to communicate with you.

They are very social and love people. You usually don't have to worry about them being a one person bird. However, most guests you have are a little leary so you need to be with them while they are interacting with the bird. They don't understand the behaviors like you do and they can misinterpret behaviors and possibly get bit. The bird will show off and jump and down and giggle, and whistle and yell while the bird is on their shoulder. That scares people and they will jerk back and the bird will bite to hang on. Warn your guests of this. Just stay calm and don't jerk around.

Everybody wants to see the pretty birdie! Especially children and too's don't particularly like jerky, small, fast moving children. Not a good idea to let the bird get on children unless the bird is already used to children being in the house. Also have guests remove earrings, glasses and necklaces before handling them because birdie will go straight for them. Not that birdie will pull them out but the guest will jerk away and rip their earrings out that way. Its an automatic reaction to them, whereas to you, you can just say, "Quit it" and the bird will stop. Guests don't realize that and it is a natural reflex to jerk away.

Ziggy has a strict rule, "No hats on in the house." He will take your hat off your head and throw it on the ground and laugh. They can be trained to do tricks. Play dead or even ride a skateboard if you are willing to work with them. His laugh is what gets everybody going. A hearty robust laugh that is appropriate. He knows what's funny. He can watch TV and laugh at the appropriate moments. Loves music and loves to dance and show off. Usually Ziggy is very quiet and calm when it's just us but when company is around he stays animated and won't calm down until everybody has played with him for a minute. Then you are excused. LOL!

Talking? Watch what you say! Of all the wonderful cute little phrases you teach your birdie, you can rest assure that it has learned EVERYTHING else you've said or that they've heard on TV! Just let the preacher come over for a visit and the birdie will shoot off a string of cuss words knowing EXACTLY what he's doing! LOL!

They are very loveable but I tell people up front when they think of getting a too that the name of the bird should be "destruct-a-birdie." They love wood and they can splinter it in a heartbeat. I always keep a supply of 2x4 pieces for Ziggy to chew up. Works better than any $40 colored wooden thing you can buy in the stores and its cheaper too! He doesn't like toys and will ignore them. He only wants wood to chew on.

Highly intellengent and great problem solvers. When I first got Ziggy he was peeling the wallpaper off the wall so I was going to be smart and put plexiglass around the top of the cage so he wouldn't chew. (The walls are painted now. LOL!) I got the plexiglass and drilled holes it in to mount to the cage with "U" bolts. I threaded the nuts down on the U bolts finger tightened. I went to the kitchen to get a pair of plyers to tighten the bolts down good. When I got back to the cage, Ziggy had one of the U bolts in his beak and handed it to me and giggled. THAT'S how fast they are and that's how smart they are. You just shake your head and laugh.

"My bird chewed up all the doors, baseboards and door frames! We had to get rid of him!" Yep! That's why all mine are wrapped in tin and that's why you keep a fresh supply of wood for the bird to chew on.

Food? Ziggy is a bottomless pit. LOL! He loves anything you love. He gets his own plate at the table and climbs the chair himself and hops on the table and eats with me. This causes problems because during dinner parties he expects to be part of the dinner. LOL! Most guests do not want a big bird at the table even on his perch. Yes there is seed for him to eat in the cage but too's love anything. Fruits and starches and even meats. They need other foods besides the seed. You also have to watch house plants. You will find you have your own personal gardener. LOL! Some plants can be deadly to birds so watch the plants you have.

Also they love things with bright colors. Cleaning chemicals, etc. come in brightly colored plastic jugs. Need I say more? Remember - 2 year old child. Just use common sense and you and your too will be very happy together. Not to scare you off but just use good common sense. If a child can get hurt doing it, so can a too.

We didn't know anything when we got him. He was handed over to us and he was very unsocialized. Look at the pretty birdie! In that first few months I don't know how he survived because we didn't know what to watch out for. He ate a battery. He ate a gallon jug of bubble bath. Each time I thought, "Well, that's the end of THAT bird!" Be proactive and remember you have a 2 year old in the house.

Sharp beak? Sharp claws? Use a dremel. You can get battery powered dremels for dog nails. You'll be surprised at what a game you can make to get your too used to it. Ziggy lets me do his nails and his beak without any fluff of the feathers. He feels very pretty after they are all done. They have that much trust in you. I wouldn't use a dremel bit on a drill. Too forceful. The battery operated one is much safer. Even clipping the wings he'll just sit there and let me do it but you have to work with them. He used to grab the scissors with those big pink feet and throw them across the room. If you have ceiling fans then you must keep those wings clipped because birdie is gonna fly at some point. Either scared by a noise or just looking for you.

Messy? Oh yeah! They are mess cats. If you can't handle bird seed flung all around the cage and poop - go no further. "Doo Dissolve" is a wonderful product and smells wintergreenish to get rid of the poop. Putting a towel down on the floor around the cage will help. We have lots of "birdie towels." And they love to start pooping and throwing seeds right after you've cleaned up. LOL! They'll show YOU!

They have to interact and they can't just be locked up in their cage. They'll start plucking from neglect. Ziggy runs free in the house when I'm home and sleeps in his cage while I'm at work. I come home at lunch and play with him every day. And then of course when I get home he's usually on my shoulder, running around the house or on his perch waiting for me to finish cooking dinner.

Vacations are a problem too. You can't leave the bird for a week or two. You must get somebody to come at least take care of the bird or board it. Fortunately, we have a vet in town that boards large birds and Ziggy is allowed to run around the shop and they feed him their lunch. He gets to play all day and the customers love him.

Is all this worth it? YOU BET IT IS! That is my baby! I wouldn't let Ziggy go for a million bucks! And you'll be the same way. At least you will have some insight and be prepared for the little feathered monster. LOL! Just don't be scared of the bird. You have to be in charge and the bird will respect you. If you are timid and cower away from the bird, he will take charge of YOU. And that means doing it with finese. NEVER hit your bird! You may be frustrated but NEVER EVER hit your bird! Both of you take a time out and work on the behavior problem that was unacceptable. They will learn and they will stop certainly behaviors if you do it right and not lose your cool.


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  • Michael Miley - 2011-03-27
    Alan; I stumbled upon your article and just want to say it is the most accurate and exacting truthful explanation of a cockatoo keeper relationship I have witnessed! I have been a keeper for many years and always shied away from Cockatoos mostly due to their loudness. What a mistake on my part! I adopted Mickey a 13 yr old male Too just over a year ago. What a pleasure and challenge, most rewarding experience of my keepers career including Amazons, Greys, Macaws and smaller birds.
  • Kim - 2011-05-26
    Thank you ........smile.
  • Margie Parfrey - 2012-08-19
    That is very detailed info but I want to know does the bird have to go to a vet like a dog or cat and how expensive are they to keep?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-19
    Obviously a vet will tell you to bring your parrot into the vets office every year for a physical.  I would not do that - and i sure would not do that at all unless it is a certified avianb vet.  You just don't take  a well parrot to a vet where there are sick birds.  A true avian vet has conditions which prevent problems but most vets don't.  They shouldn't require any shots but most breeders will give their babies a shot for polyoma - polyoma vaccine.  It would be included in the price of the bird.  Cage - you would need a cage and a cage for a large bird is going to run around $600  possibly you can find a used one.  You will also need a perch that goes on wheels - runs around $250.00.  I can't imagine that seed/nuts/pellets would be more than $50.00 a month and remember they can eat anything nutricious that you eat.  If you have meatloaf and potatoe with string beans for dinner - give them some.  Especially a cockatoor cuz if you don't it will pitch a fit.  You would not eat in front of a 3 year old human - don't do it in front of a cockatoor.  Scrambled eggs, toast, pasta,    whatever you eat.  No not chocolate, avocado and not a lot of salt.  So pirce of a moluccan should be around $1100, cage $600, perch $250 and $50 a month for food - plus toys and for a cockatoo you canmake a lot of toys with a 2 x 4 pine untreated lumber. 
  • ang - 2014-04-30
    How do you bathe ziggy?
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Anonymous - 2003-08-04
I also have aquired a wild caught Moluccan. I don't know his way back past, but he was in an animal training program here in Southern California for many years. I was assigned to his during one year there. During the teen years there he started mutilating his chest. I've had him for 9 years now. 6 of those years he wore a collar to prevent the mutilation.In the past 3 years I have been giving him Haloperidol, a human drug, 3 drops in the morning and that is it. He ceased mutilation and now lives beautifully collar free. I think of it as a miracle. He still plucks his chest a bit, but no mutilation. There is no change in his personality, it just removed the obsession he had with his chest. He is once again the pretty, fluffy, white bird I fell in love with....

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Lava Richards - 2013-01-11
I have just bought a cockatoo, yet I am concerned about his feathers, they are in terrible shape mostly his tail and around the edges .. is there something I should be doing for him.. I'm waiting on an appointment with a bird guy. So I figured I'd ask you all.. plus it sounds like he grinds his beak ::(

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-12
    I love cockatoos, they are so social and friendly. One of their best attributes is their loving nature. But this strength is also their greatest weakness. They have such a high need for social interaction that they often develop behavioral problems when kept as pets, common ones are feather plucking and screaming. I'm so glad you are taking him to a bird guy. You should be able to learn about lots of things you can do to make your new pet happy and comfortable.
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Darren - 2012-12-10
Just four days ago my family and I became companions to a mollucan Cockatoo named Jamie and he is approximately 30 years old. His owner was unable to give him the required attention any longer and she reluctantly needed to find him a loving home. He had been plucking out his feathers and generally misbehaving so I eagerly took him in. He is doing well but he is slightly nervous with me, although I am able to hand feed him he is not willing to allow me to touch him yet. Last night while spending some time w/ him my wife approached the cage and to our surprisese he came out of his cage and was extremely affectionatete w/ her, allowing her to pet him, hold his back, and even climb onto her arm. I will admit that I am a bit jealous but very happy to see Jamie in such a happy state. Does anyone have some advice on how to teach him to accept me and the rest of my family or has chosens his person?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-10
    Cockatoos are usually a family bird and will get along with all members.   The moluccan probably went to your wife right away as she sesnse or sees some familiar between your wife and the previous owner.  I would think given some more time and a few treats for bribes he would adjust to other members of the family.  Feed him/her treats with your hand.  Let him be closer to you while on his perch when you are eating dinner/lunch and feed him from your plate.  Talk to him.  If the previous owner had similar hair or was the same sex or  etc etc - the molluccan senses the familiarity.  It has only been 4 days and this takes awhile so hang in there.
  • Darren - 2012-12-11
    thanks for the advice Charlie, I will keep you posted on our progress. I am sure in time he will adjust and be very happy in his new home but if i may, any additional advice on his feather plucking would be greatly appreciated as well. I am aware that this is one of the hardest ticks for them to stop but it is very sad to see him continue pulling his new feathers despitee almost constant attention . is there a product than can help w/ this? he also picks at the dry skin on his feet which leads me to believe that perhaps he is uncomfortable. I am allowing his to sample every thing we eat ( except Avocado's and fatty processed meats) along w/ fruits and veggies.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-11
    Lots of toys, lot of wood to chew up.  Buy an untreated pine 2 x 4 and cut into pieces and let him at them.  Aloe Bird Bath that you spritz him with can sometimes help with the dry skin.  Walnuts - just crack them in half and they are on sale after holidays really help cuz oil for dry skin.  Almonds help.  You can think about possibly a collar later.  They work as they prevent them from plucking but I am not crazy about them as can upset them also.  The flight suits birds wear - some birds like and some don't but they can help.  Go slowly when introducing and make a game out of it for him.  I'd wait till he is a little more settled in the home and used to your guys though.  He won't be plucking when you are holding him.  Good luck - it is hard -
  • Darren - 2012-12-12
    Thank you so much! that was more valuable information that I was able to find after hours of research, I will check back in to update you w/ our progress.
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reaperess67 - 2012-12-06
I have just rescued a mollucan cockatoo -  had her about a month and a half. She's wonderful. A little loud sometimes. We've been working on trust issues. She now comes on my arm frequently if I go to her cage, not all the time, but most. Then she rests on my chest and just wants me to pet her and talk to her. Tonight she was a little weird, so I figured she just needed more talk and contact and she started rocking back and forth while laying on me. Next thing I know, she laid an egg on me. I know absolutely nothing on birds, and was wondering if this is normal? I also will be going on vacation for 6 days over christmas. My brother in law will be staying here to take care of her. Should that be sufficient for her? Any comments are greatly appreciated.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-07
    Not abnormal.  Parrots will sometimes lay eggs without a mate.  I have to admit i have never heard of a parrot laying an egg on a person but there is a first time for everything.  Take a bowl/ box anything and put some shredded newspaper or paper towle in it and put the egg in the bowl or box.  She will probably lay two more.  After about 30 days or when she gets bored with the eggs just throw them out.  Don't be too concerned if she gets a little protective of the eggs or testy with you while this process is going on.  It is obvious she loves you and trusts you cuz the laying of the head on the chest and waiting to be petted is the love a cockatoo has for its human.  Good luck.
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Janet Tuckwell - 2012-07-18
I have a mutant cockatoo that is mixed with Goffin, he is tiny like the Goffin but is 'peachy/pink' in color like the Mollucan. He is naughty! I just rescued him about 2.5 months ago and he had picked his chest and neck totally bare and now he is covered with beautiful feathers. He only ate pellets and now that I feed him fresh fruit and veggies and seeds mixed with pellets his battered looking feathers are now very pretty and have a beautiful peach tint to them. I'm just working on the stepping up and the screaming. He is a very smart little bugger and all he wants/needs is attention

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-19
    Hybrid between the goffin and moluccan?  Yes cockatoos are very smart and extremely affectionate and they want atention.  Once your little guy has you trained (and it sounds like it is working) you will have a lifelong friend
  • Rosa - 2012-08-05
    I just rescue mollucan cookatoo what do I do he picking is feathers out and trying to put its food under is wings acts to be like he itching
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iVibe - 2010-10-14
I recently acquired a (12 year old?) male Moluccan Cockatoo. He began to sneeze this evening. I have had him three days. His previous owner was very afraid of him. Supposedly a woman had owned him. I am a single, older woman myself. When I went to pick up the bird, he stepped right onto my arm with a "death grip" and has sat upon a (small) cage for the past three days, entering the cage at night. I realized he is as afraid of me as I began to become somewhat intimidated by him but offered no "feedback" and remained calm. He is settling into what I would consider a regular schedule. He is near a North-facing window and loves to watch the birds outside. He has had two, short-minute screeching sessions but nothing I would consider abnormal. I was outside the window yesterday and he was knocking on the window, I suppose, at me. I have been observing him from a distance yet interaction by offering food and water by hand. He moves very slow, almost sloth-like unless I accidentally startled him (when I was intimidated) and he flapped his wings onto the back of my head from atop his cage. Now I enter the area by announcing his name and giving a laugh which he imitates on occasion. A few times he began to make noise - almost alien sounding - but the laugh is the only recognizable noise I have heard thus far. I do care greatly for birds and would not want to get him used to constant attention but want to be able to handle him. I sit in the same room hours on end, on the computer. Today he flew to the floor and wandered about, trying to get into a silk tree at the other end of the room. When I entered and up-righted the tree, he walked calmly back to climb back to his cage. I was very surprised that he recognizes this as "his" area. I can't say enough about the intelligence of any creatures we share this earth with. I don't agree that nature should be domesticated but have a cockatiel that I indulge greatly. It took the cockatiel 4 months to warm to me but now expects a head scratch upon my approach. I offer a cup of water to the Cockatoo to which he drinks with gratefulness (very easy to see), and does have two clean water's to his avail. I provide seed and fresh fruit. The sneezing is concerning me though and yet not the only reason I write. If anyone can provide me with some other suggestions, all are welcome. His tail is only slightly frayed and he has not lost any other feathers. His previous owner (of 6 months) was a man without time and who was "very" afraid of this bird, ducking at the bird's every move. When I walked the bird to my car on my arm, the man stayed 6' behind me and the cockatoo hissed the entire way. He has not hissed once since being here the past three days. Well, wish me luck? I'd like to see all caged birds in a giant aviary. My other concern is the safety of my cockatiel who is deathly fearful of the cockatoo so I have her in another room but she will fly into a wall or window if she sees the cockatoo! I have to have day surgery and my pea-brain is trying to come up with a solution to being away for the day and the birds being safe together (I live in a small, three room trailer). Thanks again

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  • Christine Bell - 2010-12-09
    iVibe, congratulations to you for taking on this wonderful bird. Mollucans aren't the easiest birds to handle. It sounds like he really did not like his former owner (the hissing ) and he is bonding to you. I have two female mollucans and had a male before them that I dearly loved. I would be sure your bird is kept warm and out of drafts if he is sneezing. He may have a cold. Warmth is the very best thing for a bird who is sick. But you may have to take him to an avian vet if he doesn't improve.
    I keep my birds flighted as I feel it keeps them way healthier. But I realize that this is very difficult in a small space as cockatoos can get into everything and must be watched at all times if free flying! I keep mine in a large heated aviary. They are so much fun to watch flying around. I do think the exercise is so healthy for them and keeps them happy.
    My first Mollucan did not know how to fly. He had been clipped from early on. It took me a year to get him to fly (once his flight feathers grew in). He started by hopping to my arm and then I would stand further and further away from him. Gradually he gained strength and then he could fly quite well.
  • Anonymous - 2011-11-09
    Hi I read your post and thought I might offer an little insite from my own experience. I have a 31 year old female M2 named wackoo. I had not had her very long when I realized she was sneezing every once in a while I went to the friend of mine who had given her to me to care for. He said she mimics sneezing every time someone around her has a cold. And low and behold I had just gotten over the flu. About a week after I stopped sneezing, so did she, though she still does it every once and a while then she laughs at me. If you're really worried take your little one to the vet. But I thought I would let you know sometimes it can just be something they are doing to get you attention or to entertain themselves. Good luck!
  • Angelique Marie Delgado - 2012-03-24
    If you did not want to give him constant attention then you should never have gotten a cockatoo. I have a cockatoo and he requires alot of attention, if they do not get the loving attention they need regularly, they will start pulling out feathers and biting. There is no reason to be intimidated by him. If you pay attention to him by holding, talking, cuddling (which cockatoos love will be very friendly with you and will start talking clearly. It is like the old saying goes, you get as good as you give. As for your cockateil you have got to have his wings clipped for his own safety. As with anyother animal on the planet they have to get accustomed to eachother and that does not happen over night. Suggestion have someone you trust completely to spend the day/night at your home to take care of the birds, as you can't leave them cooped up so long.
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krystal - 2011-11-05
My grandprents have Admiral, hes a mollucan cockatoo.Hes been in the family for awile.Admiral only likes my grandfather ,howeve he does seek attention from everyone.No one wants to take the chance to get him out of his cage becuase he runs a muck,chaseing people ,andif you dont run or avoid him he will bite. I make him toys to help entertain him and share penutbutter with him by his cage.Unsurprisenly he bit me recently while tryeno give him a toy. how can i get this bird to like me and what can i do to e him out . he does not get out that much becuase he likes to eat the furniture ect. is there like a bird play yard ? could he be train to siton a perch ,so he could be included in the family. ps when i sAid he dont get out much i ment heonly gets out once a day for like a hour with my pops.

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Neil - 2010-09-14
I was wondering what the comfort temp is for a Mollucan Cockatoo? I've just became a proud owner of a beautiful mollucan cockatoo named Miestro. My
family and I are just in love with him and I think the feelings are the same back.

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  • jim - 2011-10-15
    i also just got one i was told 70 degrees
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brian - 2011-04-11
I got a 12 yr old male moluccan cockatoo. He's a super sweet bird but lately I noticed he'll go to a corner of his cage and start shaking and sounds almost like he's hissing. Does anyone know why he's doing this? Please tell me. Thanks.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-11
    Shaking - like his body is shaking as if trembling? Feather crest up or down and body feathers out or flat? Cage looks out a window? Cockatoos will do a sort of shakey thing where there body seems to treble and a low almost growl vs hiss. I can't say for sure but breeding season is one thing. Is something out the window? Is this just a short 30 - 60 second trembling than my guess is breeding thing. Feather crest up and wings out and flapping and head bobbing with big noise - well you probably know that is normal for attention. I found that mine only did it in the spring and I was told something like the scent in the air and hormones. Mine was a female though and she started it about 9 years old.
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