I will never have a cockatoo unless a very old parrot needs a home and I am old myself to the point of hardly ever leaving my home. Because while these white birds have over the top personalities, they also are very flock-oriented and need almost constant interaction with whomever is in their flock. All Pet Birds have an excellent warning about Cockatoos. http://www.all-pet-birds.com/cockatoo.html
Cockatoos can live a very long time, so I would not get a young bird now when it would outlive me and be horribly sad over my abandonment of the bird. I have cockatiels to give me that crest action and I have doves for the pristine white feathers. I don’t really need a ‘too.
Maynard, my Amazon parrot, has shown me that older birds can bond with someone new in their lives. So it’s not impossible, as I say, but I can’t see it happening for many years. But the most important thing to remember is, if you are missing that cockatoo love in your life, check out the rescues in your area. Chances are, they will have more cockatoos than any other type of parrot.
Mikaboo Companion Bird Rescue has a disclaimer for every cockatoo on their web site. They prefer that a cockatoo not be the first parrot for anyone, and direct interested parties to various web pages for more input. Like this one: http://www.mickaboo.org/see-our-birds
To find a parrot rescue near you, check out these sites. http://www.featherme.com/index.php/adopt-a-parrot/ But a few of these rescues have either suffered horrible catastrophes (Tall Grass Parrot Sanctuary) or have had to close their doors and no longer have a web page.
My first real introduction to cockatoos and rescues came from Don Scott who runs The Chloe Sanctuary. He’s local to me in Southern California, and has participated at times in my bird club activities. Chloe was his first rescue, and just one of many ‘toos who lived a great life, thanks to him. His web page has an abundance of videos to teach as well as entertain. http://chloesanctuary.org/cockatude/
My most recent encounter with a cockatoo at the mercy of the people around her happened probably a year ago. My dear friend Millie had neighbors with a severely plucked ‘too named Angel. Her story involved the sad but not uncommon death of a long-time caregiver. This man had two parrots, and they were all three closely bonded. They were a flock. Losing the man hit both birds hard, but when no one in the family wanted to take both parrots, these people blithely decided to split the pair up. In a very short time, Angel’s entire flock had disappeared. She screamed, she plucked, and she self-mutilated. The family she ended up with understood her and were as good to her as they could be. And they are young folks so hopefully they will be her caretakes for the rest of her life.
So what can you do if you are not in a position to adopt a cockatoo? Donate your time to the nearest rescure, donate items they might need, have a yard sale and donate the money to the birds.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.