Portia is a cockatoo and although we have very little background history on her, we
know that she was surrendered as a result of a divorce. Portia’s home was wrecked
once her owners got divorced and none of them wanted the bird. Fortunately for
Portia, she ended up at Gaia Animal Sanctuary where she adapted almost
immediately and bonded with mama bird and auntie bird. Her personality
blossomed and although she seems to have some behavioral issues from previous
traumas and stress, she was able to adapt in her new environment successfully.
Cockatoos are not easy pets to have, it’s important for people to understand what
they are getting themselves into before seeking to own a cockatoo. Let’s talk about
some basic facts about these beautiful and sensitive creatures.
The lifespan of a cockatoo is 40- 70 years under human care, they are highly social
and vocal communicators, the umbrella species name is Alba which means white in
Latin. They have been known to be kept as pets dating as far back as the 7 th century.
Umbrella cockatoos or any cockatoo rather, need a very large living space or cage.
They are very prone to abnormal behaviors such as over plucking, aggressiveness
and self-mutilation if kept confined. Self- mutilation can lead to infections on the
self-inflicted wounds. Umbrella cockatoos emit a white powdery dust that can cause
allergies and other respiratory diseases on their owners and care takers.
Cockatoos typically have a very charming and sweet personality. They are quite
sentimental with the object, person or mate of their affection and there is nothing
they wish more than to always be with it. Umbrella cockatoos are never alone in the
wild therefore their instinct is always to bond with a partner. The worst thing
anyone can do to a cockatoo is to keep it in isolation or in a small space.
The most important aspect of a cockatoo’s behavior that anyone should know is that
they are extremely loud and they don’t get tired of screaming until they get what
they want. They are very quick to learn how to manipulate rookie bird owners into
giving them attention attention or dealing with the loud consequences. Many
cockatoos are re-homed because of this. On the flipside they can learn up to 50
words and sometimes they replace screaming for talking however is not always the
Umbrella cockatoos are definitely for the experienced bird owner who is willing to
be patient and knowledgeable enough to give the right and adequate living
environment so the bird can thrive and be a happy and healthy parrot companion.