Animal Stories - Umbrella Cockatoo


Animal-World Information about: Umbrella Cockatoo

The two Umbrella Cockatoos pictured here are still babies under 3 months old, and still needing to be handfed twice per day!
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Glenda - 2012-01-12
How long after your birds breed, do they lay eggs??

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-12
    Birds are breeding because the egg is already there coming down. Usually 3 - 4 eggs and they sorta look like peeled grapes. The birds breed and the eggs are fertilized and as the eggs come out the cloaca, the calcium is deposited around the egg and forms the shell. Now I can't tell you how long it takes for the fertilized egg to complete its journey but somewhere around day 1 - 2 the first egg is laid, then the next day or two the second and the next day or two the third.
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mary - 2011-12-29
I have am 8 month old Cockatoo and I think I have over bonded with her. I let her out to play and all she wants is me to hold her.....Any ideas on how to break her from this??? She is very sweet and no bad habits but I try to let her play on the floor or table and she just climbs right up my leg to get to me.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-30
    That is a cockatoo - that is their personality and you haven't over bonded. I don't even think it is possible to over bond with a cockatoo. She isn't going to play on the floor - too low and they can't see what is going on. If you sit on the floor with her and play she will but other wise no. Same thing with a table. I would try a free standing perch cholla wood or sanded manzanita with a bunch of chew toys she can eat. Have the perch so she can see you and place her on the perch. It might take a few times but she should get used to the perch and then you can read, watch TV or do homework and she will play/sit contentedly. She is a baby now - 8 months and she will get a little more independent but not a whole lot.
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zhyomie - 2011-11-06
I'm a new owner to a 13 year old cockatoo who's name is Ricky. She picks her feathers and the week that have had her I haven't seen her bathe herself. Is there anything I should do? I've also noticed she has lots of dander. She is my first bird.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-07
    Cockatoos have powder - which is what I think you're saying about dander. In the wild, they would naturally bathe with the rain but in your home, you have to bathe them. You can just spritz them down (soak them good) a few times a week with water. Some love the actual shower. If their feathers get dry, they itch and they will pick at them. A good soaking a few times a week should solve/help that. They also naturally preen their feathers which is their way of cleaning. Just soak her down - but gently. They have bird sprayers and bathes at the pet store but just water and a light sprayer (not the garden hose) will work.
  • Lois - 2011-12-27
    I have a suction cup shower perch for my Cockatoo and he likes his showers and certainly will tell you when he has had enough! My son moved in with a pit bull mix that agitated him and he started showing distress in his feathers so I bought the shower perch and it really helped. One day he said 'NO' and I wouldn't listen---he warned me and bit me bad. I pushed the idea of another bath and he just didn't want it! So do learn his or her body language! That bite HURT bad!
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mollie - 2011-10-09
My umbrella cockatoo is named ella she will be 1 in November, I used to get her out for 3 hours everyday and now I've grown up I barely get her out at all, I'm starting to get her out but she is screaming now in her cage! What can I do!? Help!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-10
    Most parrots but cockatoos more than any others NEED attention. They crave attention and demand it from their humans. They are very social and to them you are their whole world. You are their flock, their mate, their friend. They are about equivalent to a 3 year old human chikd in their need to be with their human. You can spend time with your Ella while she is on her perch and you share your supper with her - or your breakfast. You can spend time with her watching TV. You need to spend time with her providing attention and playing. If she doesn't get the attention she is going to pluck, she will keep screaming and will probably be very depressed. You need to decide to devote the time for Ella - for the next 50 years or so --- or to find a suitable home for her. She is young, tame and wants to be loved and there should be no problem finding a new family for her but she can't be stuck in a cage without socialization and companionship. It would be like putting yourself in solitary confinement. Ella knws you are home and will make big noises to get your attention. She is calling her mate her flock. They just can't take isolation.
  • Anonymous - 2011-11-20
    Take her out.
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Joshua - 2011-10-16
What is the wingspan length of an umbrella cockatoo?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-18
    An umbrella runs about 18 inches in length with a wingspan of 24 inches. They need a large cage - large enough to spread their wings and stretch. They sure like to play a lot with their toys and are quite active. They love their humans.
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Dave - 2011-03-14
I'm excited because I'm getting a 15-year old Umbrella Cockatoo this week. For most of her life, she'd been abused by her female owner, and as a result she doesn't like female Humans. I've been visiting her at the Pet Store a couple times a week over the last month, and she seems to be warming up to me more each week. The noise of the pet store (mostly puppies yipping) seems to wear her down. I want to give her an environment where she can be comfortable. She's a sensitive girl who has seemed depressed; sometimes when I've arrived at the pet shop, she's on the floor of her cage with her head in the corner, and it breaks my heart to see her that way. But the last time I was there, she climbed my onto my hand and was playing; her crest was fully extended as she was gently hitting the palm of my hand. I have two main questions...(1) Many afternoons I'm away from the house, so I hope that my being with her in the mornings and checking in at night will be enough for her. Will it be? (2) Is there a chance someday she'd be comfortable with Women? I don't have anyone special but who knows what will happen in life. But I want my house to be a sanctuary for this bird. I want her to be happy. Her name is "Sweet Pea" and if she can live up to her name even Half the time, I'll be happy.

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  • Jerry - 2011-05-13
    I was doing exotic bird rescue before my divorce in 2009. One of the first was Romeo, a 5 year old male Umbrella Cockatoo. Although it took about 3 months because of past abuse, he finally stepped up to me. We have been best buddies ever since. I have discovered that female Umbrellas seem to want male humans as their primary handlers and vice-versa for male Umbrellas. Romeo still loves the women in his life, but he always knows who is best buddy is. I expect the Sweet Pea will chose you as her primary friend and protector. I am sure though that once she warms up to having a female human around, she will eventually accept that female into the family as well. It will take time and patients
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-13
    Yes, being there in the mornings, sharing your breakfast, playing with her or watching TV with her will be enough. She will get used to your routine and look forward to it and you coming home. Just make sur she has plenty of things to entertain herself with - toys and chewies. Mine have their own TV and movies - sound snuts but they really get into Kung Fu Panda and Surf's Up. She may or may not like another woman around. It doesn't rally make a great deal of difference. Sweet Pea is not going to dive bomb a lady friend or chase her around the house. Sweet Pea is just not going to want the lady friend to pick her up etc. It may change but frequently birds attach themselves to one person anyway. A cockatoo is not a dive bomber so I wouldn't worry about it. My cockatoo does not like my husband and my husbands grey does not like me. It isn't a problem. It would be nice if she accepted your lady friend but may not happen so just don't worry about it.
  • Derrick - 2011-08-03
    This is not necessarily a "not-to-worry" deal. My cockatoo Penny was previously owned and abused and does not trust men (with the exception of me for some reason). He knows my work schedule and spends most of the day screaming until I get home and he sees me. Another reason this may be a concern is when cockatoos roost,they call their flock together much like parents telling their children bed time and good night.

    Maybe Penny is an exception,maybe Sweet-Pea might be the exception,but a good 70% of behavior is determined by early training and the bird's personality.
  • Julie - 2011-08-31
    My 12 year old Cockatoo, accepted me a few weeks after my husband died. Freddie was his bird. Now, I have remarried after 7 years and Freddie has now accepted my new husband, but he worked at it. He's is the one who cleans his cage and feeds him every morning. She still screams a lot when I am on the phone or if I don't come running into greet her if we've been out of the house, but she's a loving, sweet pet. Of course, my two dashhounds, and cat know enough to stay clear of her beak. She loves to travel we take her in her cage in our camper van when we go on vacation trips.
  • Charlene - 2011-09-29
    Thanks for re-homing a 'used' bird!! My first parrot was abused and came out of it really really well, even accepting a man into the household. Your best course of action when you take her home is to keep strictly to a routine. We humans tend to want to lavish tons of attention/affection on our new friend up front and then we slack off as our regular life intrudes which causes confusion for the parrot. A routine is as much for your benefit as hers. They like structure. So, breakfast every day, then shower (my birds bathe with me) then back to her cage with toys for x amount of time. Passive interaction where she's nearby on a stand with something to do as you watch tv or read, etc. is just like flock behavior - together but not always touching. Of course cuddle time is essential, or play time if that's what she wants. My U2 sometimes just wants to be on me a while and she'll preen my hair as I read. Other times she's into everything to see if it's a toy. Anyway, my 4 birds were trained to expect breakfast daily, showers a couple times a week and then my absence at work 8-12 hours every day. They knew when I came back I'd cook dinner and then we'd all sit down to enjoy it together. Play time and snuggle time were generally for the evening as well. Now I work at home and they know that for 8-10 hours I will be unavailable and at the end of that time, it's Bird time. Yes, they'll scream if they think I can be convinced they're in mortal danger - thank goodness for earbuds. Ignoring them really is the only thing I've found to work.
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Nikki Van Court - 2011-09-22
FYI.. it is us Humans that make these birds aquire the behavior issues like screaming and acting infantile in their later years.. TEACH them to be birds and allow them to be birds and DO NOT over bond and the relationship and home will be HAPPY BETTER AND QUIET...

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-23
    Many people do not realize a birds typical behaviors and essentailly train the bird to do some peculiar and unwanted things. A young bird uses it's beak to balance until confident it can stay upright and balance. It doesn't want to fall. It isn't a bite and doesn't hurt - just using a hold with the beak. People jump up and down and get scared and the bird thinks this is play. Many times humans will teach the bird this is play and then the play or hold gets too rough. Basically we teach the bird to bite as they think funny. Eating dinner in front of the bird - hey a person is eating in front of a 3 year old. Chewing on our fingers - hey they are playing and humans should have toy in their hands to play. Tug of war is great with a sock but not with fingers or our clothing. Their is sometimes agression but bird postures for that and we need to read the body language. Humans need to understand sometimes we just have a headache too. Humans need to try and understand our language too. Thank you for you rpost and insight,
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Candice - 2010-04-18
My 18 yr old male umbrella is becoming more & more addicted to my presence. I am trying to incorporate a "self directed play" time into his afternoons, but the screeching is really getting to me. Any suggestions?

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  • mamie owens - 2011-07-21
    Find a channel on your radio that your bird feels comfortable with and leave
    it there. This will fill the void when you are away. Then when you are at home
    share that same radio station in your quiet time with your bird this should
    help and control his fustrations.
  • Derrick - 2011-08-03
    I find that a bit contrary. Birds have a very small brain but are still smart enough to associate a particular radio with "parent time" and if parent isn't there,they will spend most of their time trying to get their attention if the owner is home or not.
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Darlene - 2011-07-12
We have a 15 year cockatoo and she is litteraly mean and turns on anyone who handles her. We are our wits end cuz she screams constantly. We put her out on our screen porch and she hollers out there too. I guess I need some training tips on her or need to find someone that can give her obviously more attention than we can. We have other birds and she gets to hollering and disrupts all the others. Help what can I do.....

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-12
    The more you try and isolate the cockatoo, the more she is going to scream. They are extremely social in the wild and when removed from the flock, they panic and scream. If she is in the home and around the other birds, is she content playing and just talking to them? A older couple had a cockatoor and they said bird would scream every night when they ate dinner. I asked if the bird ate with them. They said NO. I said you are eating in front of a 3 year old without feeding the child. Feed the cockatoo and let him be with you when you eat dinner. They called me and said that worked. Your cockatoo is totally dependent on you but this doesn';t mean you have to give her attention 24/7. But you can't just put her away> You can have a perch close to where you have your activities and as long as she can see you, she should be fine. The more you try and keep her in her cage and you are home, the more she is going to holler. She just needs to see you and know that she has not been isolated from the flock. The flock will isolate sick birds in order to protect themselves. Think of a 3 year old child left behind.
    Does she play well when outside her cage on a play pen or perch? I need to know more about what you mean when you say "turns"? Does she get mad when you try and put her back in the cage? Does she get mad when you try and pet her? Tell me more. Please? I will try to help.
    Other options are possibly someone who knows about Cockatoos or possibly a breeder.
    In any case, give me more info on the behaviors and I will try and help.
  • mamie owens - 2011-07-21
    Darlene. Have you tried music with your bird? This has helped my Izzy
    with that problem. Izzy was extremely mean and would bite anyone that
    tried to handle him, he has gotten much better. When all is quiet in the house I talk to him and constantly uses his name in every sentence, this
    has made him easier to handle and control. when you bird does well always
    reward her.
  • Derrick - 2011-08-03
    I have a Moluccan x Umbrella of about 25 years old. He is a male and I am his primary caregiver. I'm somewhat new to the avian behaviors,but I do know this. The more time you spend with them the more they love you. I feed my bird what I eat (but not nearly as much in proportion) along with his semiseed diet,fresh fruits picked off a pear tree, and try to generally give him at LEAST a few hours per day.

    I've also noticed when they feed,they get drowsy if the food is warm-hot. If its steaming it's probably a bit too hot. Warm meals do WONDERS.

    If the companion sees a lot of arguing or hitting or hears a lot of screaming,they will also get really hyped and it takes a while for mine to cool off, after a few a-holes and go away etc.
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Pat Mier - 2010-07-05
My cockatoo is 12 years old, she surprised us one day we found a small egg in sidney's cage. It happened twice. Anyway that was about 8 month's ago. She now has a red something coming out of her bottom, sometimes it's about the size of a small egg and then other times it's not even noticeable, Can you please tell me what you think it might be?

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  • Terry Dorland - 2010-07-23
    My vet says it is related to sexual behavior in that she is trying to attract a male. If the sac extrudes too much and too often he says that it may not retract and have to be surgically put back in place. Don't go wild with this info, see your vet, all birds like people are different and require different remedies. I freaked out when I saw it on my Too but I'm calm about it now.
  • petloverstuart - 2011-06-21
    It's a rupture that your bird has. I found when I bred birds this hapened occasionally. Put 2 t-spoons of cod liver oil to aprx, 4 pint of seed and shake well. It's a good idea to do this all the time as its good for the bird.
  • cheryl - 2011-07-08
    Hi, please contact me about your bird. What you are describing can be a very serious problem. I need to ask you a few questions though before I alarm you.
    Please contact me. I run a parrot sanctuary and answer questions at no charge.
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