This article focuses on the new bird enthusiast and choosing their first bird to own. In this article I will explain why I think the cockatoo is my general choice for the new bird owner and why. I will also give important comparisons between the Cockatoo and other parrot breeds such as the African Gray, Eclectus, Conure, and others.
There are so many different breeds of parrots out there. Some are very good at stroking; some are not. However, for many people who do not have a pet parrot or any pet bird, many will find the cockatoo to be an excellent starter bird in the parrot family. Cockatiels are generally associated with having a good personality, very friendly, good conversationalists, a bird that you can cuddle with. They are also very good companions.
Cockatoos have been bred and successfully bred in many countries around the world. Cockatoos can be considered as the most bred parrot in addition to the parakeet or the parakeet (parakeet). There is a lot of research material available and many experts on cockatoos. The learning curve for cockatoo care and maintenance is shorter and many of their caretakers become experts on the cockatoo bird and its care fairly quickly.
Of all the parrot breeds, the cockatoo is the bird most likely to satisfy the new owner almost immediately. Other breeds of parrots can be very agile and biting parrots. Most tend to bond with only one person and are sometimes even rude to other people other than the owner or the person they bond with. The cockatoo generally does not portray any of these traits, although some might, it is rare.
Okay, given the information above about cockatoos, I don’t mean to say that every bird owner should start with a cockatoo or even imply that every bird owner should have one. What I do want to say is that if you are new to pet birds, you really should consider the cockatoo a first bird because they are so easy to pay for, care for, and enjoy.
Price is often the deciding factor for the potential new bird owner. Every new bird enthusiast dreams of having the parrot of their dreams, but that new pet can be very expensive; sometimes in the thousands of dollars to own.
In the US and most other countries in the world, the price of a cockatoo is very small compared to, for example, a parakeet or one of the larger parrots such as the African gray. Prices for cockatoos start at as low as $ 30 to start, or slightly higher for hand-fed babies that are meticulously cared for by their breeders.
Of course, one must realize that with birds, as with other pets, the most popular color mutation or rarity of color can drive up the price of a cockatoo. Also, a cockatoo that has been hand-fed will bring a higher selling price because the breeder has spent much of his time caring for the young. Compared to “parent-fed” cockatoos, hand-fed birds typically have a 30-50 percent higher selling price. However, I will note that if you have a choice between parent feeding and hand feeding, you can pay for the hand fed bird, get the hand fed bird. The reason is that the breeder has given you an excellent advantage to fully enjoy having a bird because you have had a lot of interaction with it.
All the birds make noise. Some very little and others make a lot of noise. One of the first things a new bird owner immediately realizes is that all birds are “vocal” to some degree. By this I mean that all birds make noise. In general, a good rule of thumb is that the bigger the bird, the more noise it can make.
Now, since the cockatoo will possibly be louder than, say, a finch, a parakeet, or even a couple of love birds, they will in no way compare to the noise level of a macaw or Amazon parrot. This fact should be taken into account especially if the new owner lives in an apartment or in any area where the noise level between neighbors could be a problem.
Every new bird owner would like to have a bird that can talk, but even that can be a nuisance to some of the larger birds. The African gray, which is by far the nest talker of the parrot species, is known to be able to imitate or say almost anything it hears often enough. I remember a friend of mine had an African gray that could mimic the ringing of his old analog dial phone. While it was cute at first, it quickly became annoying if you spent a lot of time with the bird.
For the most part, cockatoos can live in complete harmony in almost any community setting. There are exceptions, but cockatiels are generally low in volume and generally only “talk” or mimic when they first wake up or seek attention for food or affection from their owners.
No parrot really speaks, rather they imitate what they have heard enough and are capable of imitating. A bird cannot have a conversation with a human. Although some of the best conversationalists of the parrot species can do a really impressive job of making it sound like they can. I once knew a friend who had an Eclectus who could sing “I want to be a cowboy” by Kid Rock and he did it so well that if he had a band playing the musical part, he would swear it was Kid Rock who sang the song himself.
The bigger the parrot, the better it will be able to imitate it. African, eclectus, and Amazon gray parrots are the best at talking. They have the best clarity in their voices, so to speak, than any other breed of parrot. A cockatoo can also do an excellent job of imitating. Although their voice tends to be much harsher or harsher than that of larger parrots, they are easily understood what they master in imitation.
Now you also have to keep in mind that not all cockatoos will imitate. Most will do so to some extent, but not all will. It is common for the bird to say “Hello” or other small sentences, but it is also common for it to never utter a discernible word. If having a talking bird is your main goal, you might consider a larger parrot before getting a cockatoo.
One thing to note is that it appears that hand-fed cockatoos are more likely to talk than those fed by their parents. I suppose this all goes back to early human intervention in their young lives and their willingness to adapt to please the human with whom they are most in touch.
As a general rule, cockatoos behave very well when handled or left alone for long periods of time. While any bird will bite or bite you if it feels threatened, it is rare for a cockatoo to display such aggression. As mentioned earlier in this article, cockatoos are often willing to snuggle with their human companions, and in fact crave this kind of attention in some cases.
They are also very good with children. The only problem with cockatoos and children is that children often do not realize how fragile the bird is and can often seriously injure or even kill them if handled too roughly.
Cockatiels are rarely in a bad mood or short-tempered. They will bite like any bird when they feel threatened or defensive, but biting for the most part is harmless. I suppose a little kid might hurt a little more, but most adults fear of being bitten will be worse than being bitten if you ever get bitten by one.
Compact in size
One of the biggest advantages of having a cockatoo first is the low cost of housing and maintaining it. Since they are generally no larger than the average man’s fist, even a small to medium-sized cage is enough for them to live. This, in turn, results in a smaller cage-size footprint than is needed for home placement. For many new owners, this part of the property doesn’t occur to them until they bring the bird home and discover that you have to put the cage somewhere.
Of course, being a smaller bird means that they eat less and drink less water. This, in turn, means they make food and water less messy. Yet another advantage for the neophyte bird owner. Large parrots have huge appetites and are often finicky, and they will definitely make a bigger mess with your food and water.
I must say that, of all the parrots, I think the cockatoo is the most accepted as the first parrot of new bird owners. Add to that that they even make a nice “upgrade,” so to speak, for budgie and budgie owners. There are pros and cons to any species of bird, but for the most part the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to owning a cockatoo.
Parrots have been in captivity for a long time, but only the parakeet and cockatoo have adapted so well. The largest parrots, many of them, are wild-caught and can be very difficult to handle for a long time and possibly as long as you have them. Cockatoos, even those fed by parents, are the easiest of the parrot species to carry. I highly recommend a cockatoo to any bird owner or especially a first time parrot owner.