Oct 30 2015

October 2015′s Animal Of The Month – Umbrella Cockatoos

It’s time to say good-bye to the loving but incredibly loud umbrella cockatoo as our Animal Of The Month for October. And if you’ve been following us on Twitter @ExoticPetVets we hope your ears will stop ringing very soon.  If you missed any of our tweets about these beautiful, affectionate birds, here is a summary. Did you know?:

  • The umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) is also known as the white cockatoo or the great white-crested cockatoo.
  • The “alba” part of the umbrella cockatoo’s species name is the feminine form of albus in Latin which means white.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are mostly white, with some yellow colouring underneath their wings and tails.
  • Cockatoos have a crest of feathers on top of their heads that stand up when they’re excited or alarmed.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are so-named because their crests are semi-circular and look like umbrellas when raised.
  • In the wild, umbrella cockatoos live in the rainforests of the Indonesian islands.
  • Umbrella cockatoos nest in the hollows of large trees and usually have two eggs in a clutch.
  • Both female and male umbrella cockatoos take turns sitting on the eggs during the incubation period which is about 28 days.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are considered to be one of the most good-natured and loving pet birds.
  • But umbrella cockatoos are high maintenance, emotionally and physically, and need lots of attention.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are prone to loud screaming if they don’t get their way or are isolated.
  • Imagine living with a toddler for 60 years. That’s what it’s like to have a pet cockatoo. They’re not for everyone.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are very sentimental birds and they have companions in the wild.
  • In captivity, umbrella cockatoos can get attached to people, birds or objects. They also like to cuddle with people.
  • While umbrella cockatoos are social and intelligent they can only mimic basic and limited human speech.
  • Umbrella cockatoos love to dance and will bob their heads and kick their legs to the beat of the music.
  • If feeling showy, umbrella cockatoos may spread their wings and raise their crests while dancing to music they enjoy.
  • Umbrella cockatoos in captivity dislike being confined, especially in small spaces. They need lots of room.
  • In terms of cages, the bigger the better for umbrella cockatoos.
  • A cage for an umbrella cockatoo in captivity should be a minimum of 3 ft x 3 ft x 4 ft long (90 cm x 90 cm x 120 cm).
  • Large cages that can withstand powerful beaks and have an open play area on top are best for cockatoos in captivity.
  • Umbrella cockatoos have “X”-shaped feet, which help them with climbing and picking up objects.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are so good at manipulating objects with their feet, they can even unscrew bolts.
  • Many umbrella cockatoos will eat while holding their food in one foot.
  • Umbrella cockatoos will favour either their right or left foot, much like people do with their hands.

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