PET BIRD PERSONALITIES (4): Cockatoos, Conures


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Cockatoos originated in Australia. With their striking appearance and cuddly personalities, these crested white or pink birds are sure to attract attention.

Be warned that these feathered teddy bears are not necessarily the “loves” they appear to be. Male cockatoos can kill mates during breeding season.

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They can demonstrate sexual frustration with people during breeding season, biting the person whom they perceive as their mate. Cockatoos are also prone to screaming, feather picking, and self-mutilation. Moluccans may experience night frights or thrashing episodes.

Cockatoos require a great deal of attention from, interaction with, and guid-ance from their owners or they are likely to become downright unmanageable. First-time bird owners may be surprised, or even disappointed, in the amount of attention cockatoos demand. Cockatoos produce powder down, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Cockatoos need large, secure cages. These intelligent parrots are natural escape artists, so you may have to provide additional locks on your bird’s cage besides the latch on the cage door. Cockatoo diets should include good-quality seeds or pellets supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.


Conures are small parrots from South America. Ranging in color from muted greens to brilliant oranges, they are inquisitive little birds who offer something for almost everyone. Some species are quite talkative; others are known to be cud-dlers; and still others are playful clowns.

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Conures are notorious chewers, and many have quite loud voices. They enjoy regular baths. Some species are noted for sleeping on their backs with their feet in the air, while others tend to be feather pickers.

Conures need roomy cages in which to exercise and play. Of course, they need out-of-cage time, too, which can be spent on a play gym or with their own-ers. A good-quality seed mix or pellets supplemented with fresh foods makes an adequate conure diet. (Source: Julia Rach Mancini: Why Does My Birds Do That?)

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