I talk about mytoos.com a lot, especially since Bobo’s come home. Let’s just say that I knew from reading that site that it’s no easy path with a ‘too in the house. I feel it’s a message worth repeating again and again.
And, okay, ‘not an easy path’ is a huge understatement. It is an enormous challenge sharing your home with these parrots; I can tell that even a week or so in.
The infamous cockatoo noise? Hmm. It’s unpleasant, like a (very loud) dying, tortured woman crossed with a wounded dog’s staccato yelps. The calls can reach quite a volume. Still, I find Mavi’s shrieks more piercing and therefore irritating. Bobo tends to vocalise in the evenings, as is typical, and will also flock-call if you leave the room. Thankfully, he’s a generally quiet bird.
No, Bobo’s real challenge is his own avian nature.
Ah, yes, hormonally-charged adult male cockatoo at the tail-end of the spring breeding season.
Run and hide, folks, run and hide. Or rather, don’t, or a very angry – hormonal – cockatoo will chase you.
I mentioned that he bit me yesterday on the knee (I wasn’t running, I was walking towards him), and today he lunged and went after O. in the same manner. I was next, although thankfully he missed both of us and was towelled and safely put into his cage. We had been going to limit his time out to periods of about 20 minutes, maximum, but he didn’t make it that far.
The issue becomes now figuring out constructive ways to burn off some energy. Today, we were encouraging him to march around in the hopes that he’d use up a bit that way. Turns out that’s a trigger for attack.
I would encourage flying or flapping his wings, but I’m not entirely sure I want him to know he has them right now! (He doesn’t use them, save for the once, when he used them to bite his way up the blanket I was holding yesterday.) A slight wing-clip during hormonal seasons might be in order, as I see that as the only way to guarantee safety. Or maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit. It’s fairly worrying knowing that his beak can easily bend the bars of his cage (yes, it’s true), or slice through flesh if he catches it the right way. And his unpredictable ‘too nature is what flips a situation from okay to downright dangerous in seconds.
This is not a bird I’d trust with strangers, kids, or timid people – not right now, anyway.
He is such a wonderful creature. I have fallen in love with him, despite his aggressive out-of-cage behaviour. Bobo has a fantastic personality. If he wants a scratch, he comes up to the cage bars and leans his head against them invitingly, all whilst ponderously rubbing his head and neck with his foot. At night, the only thing he wants is to hold your hand.
If you leave the room, he calls goodbye, and when you enter (or pick up the phone) he gleefully shouts hello. He is also an escape artist, which, while not good, is still pretty incredible. He is very, very clever.
That intelligence is the cockatoo’s downfall. Beautiful, adorable birds, but they’re not intended for caged living. Note: They are also significantly less adorable when they’re charging at you in full-on attack mode.
My solution for now are to see about involving Bobo in some kind of performance, I think. It doesn’t have to be him doing anything out of a cage to start with – we’ll see. He performs naturally. I’ll also leave him in his cage for a few days, because although that doesn’t seem entirely fair on him, he can’t be rampaging around the house. I think Bobo is definitely overdue some through-the-bars training.
Just by the by, the video is to put Bobo in a bit of a better light, because although he has ‘bad’ moments, he is such a clown!