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Old 06-10-2018, 01:13 PM
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Need advice

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We recently had one of our 20-year old female cockatoos pass away very unexpectedly. I'm now very worried about the one that's left because they've been together all their lives. I'm thinking once we get the go-ahead from the vet I need to get her another friend, but I'm concerned if she will accept someone else. I'd like to get a Rose-breasted instead of another umbrella but would like to know if anyone has had an experience like this.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:50 PM
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Re: Need advice

So the vet's go-ahead is a necropsy result, or...?

You have my great sympathy. So sorry to hear of your loss.

We have some cockatoo experts who will be along soon, I'm sure. Meanwhile, my general thoughts...

Many here have found that they have to separate birds permanently... some have been fortunate and multiple birds get along.
You just never know! Never, ever.
Good for you for being so responsible and serious, and for reaching out!
I think that as long as you're willing to deal with whatever happens (e.g., separating them, if needed, handling added expenses, etc.), all will be well. You sound like a great parront.

Good luck!
Keep us posted, please.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:13 PM
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Re: Need advice

I'm very sorry that you lost your bird suddenly, that's terrible and never easy to go through...

Let's assume that you get the necropsy results back and your bird passed away from something that was not contagious and you don't have a health issue you have to deal with (regardless you must ALWAYS quarantine any new bird you bring into your home in a separate room from your current bird for 30 days before even introducing them)...

The best bit of advice that anyone can ever give you on this topic is NEVER BUY A SECOND BIRD FOR YOUR CURRENT BIRD!!! NOT EVER!!! YOU ONLY BUY A SECOND BIRD BECAUSE YOU WANT A SECOND BIRD, AND IF YOU DON'T WANT A SECOND BIRD THEN DON'T GET ANOTHER ONE! This applies to most all situations and to all species. And the reason is that there is absolutely no guarantee that any bird that you bring home will bond with your current bird, or vice versa. There are basically 3 different scenarios that can happen if you bring home a second bird:
1.) Either the new bird hates your current bird, or your current bird hates the new bird, either way they can't be together at all, and the new bird is nothing but a second pet bird for you and your family to bond with and interact with, and your 2 birds have nothing to do with each other...
2.) The new bird and your current bird seemingly tolerate each other, they get along enough when out of their individual cages that they can play together, maybe even preen each other occasionally, but they also have their fights. They can't be housed together in the same cage or left alone together outside of their cages and must always be supervised when they are together, but in-general they get along and can interact with each other under supervision. Essentially the end-result is exactly the same as scenario #1, you now will have 2 separate, pet birds for you and your family to bond with and interact with...(THIS IS THE MOST COMMON END-RESULT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE THINKING OF GETTING A DIFFERENT SPECIES OF COCKATOO/BIRD FROM YOUR CURRENT BIRD)
#3) Your current bird and the new bird bond closely with each other, and this bond negatively effects any relationship that you have with your current bird (this usually only occurs if the 2 birds are of the same species and usually of opposite sexes). So you end-up with a pair of closely bonded birds, and neither want anything to do with you or any other people, or at best they want very little contact with you or people. This also usually results in a potential breeding situation...

So the bottom-line is that you should only bring a new bird into your home/family because you and your family want a new edition to the family, and you have the time and resources to spend equal time with both birds. Really what you need to keep in-mind is that bringing a new bird into your home is not the answer to curing your current bird's depression over losing his mate. The only thing that is going to heal that is time, and a lot of love and attention from you and your family.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:28 PM
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Re: Need advice

Great post, Ellen.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:26 AM
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Re: Need advice

Thanks for comments. We are having a necropsy done to determine what happened. I hate to think of our remaining Cockatoo not having a friend to cuddle up to when we are not around.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:16 PM
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Re: Need advice

Quote: Originally Posted by Mdwfolsom1 View Post
Thanks for comments. We are having a necropsy done to determine what happened. I hate to think of our remaining Cockatoo not having a friend to cuddle up to when we are not around.
I totally understand this statement, but you need to fully realize that you are making this statement based on the relationship that your current bird had with the bird that just passed-away...There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that if you bring home another bird, any bird at all, that it will be "cuddling-up with" your current bird. In fact, the odds are very much against you. Most of the time when people do what you're thinking of doing they simply end-up with 2 pet birds that are bonded to them, not to each other. It's exactly the same concept of buying 2 birds of the opposite sex for the sole-purpose of breeding babies; you cannot just assume that if you buy a male bird and a female bird of the same species that they will ever mate, you can't even guarantee that you'll be able to keep them in the same cage without them killing each other. And that's very much what you need to keep in mind in your current situation, especially since your current bird was closely bonded to another bird and that bird died...

Cockatoos have the intelligence of a 4-5 year-old human toddler. Imagine if a 4 year-old human toddler has a twin brother or sister, and that twin dies. You can't just go out and adopt another 4 year-old toddler to cure the other twin's pain and loneliness from losing the brother or sister that they dearly loved. Parrots work very much like humans do when it comes to bonding with other parrots, they might fall in-love with them, they might become friends with them, they might simply tolerate them because they have no choice, or they might hate them and as a result their depression might actually get worse because you're increasing their stress and anxiety, and often as a result of this violence happens..

The only thing that is going to help your Cockatoo get over the loss of his mate is time and attention from you, as he already loves you and is bonded to you. You're his family, not some other, strange bird that you bring home for him. You may very-well cause him more anxiety and stress if you bring home a new Cockatoo, as jealousy often develops when a new bird enters the home/family. It's one thing if you yourself and the rest of your family want to get a second Cockatoo to add to your family and your household. If that's the case then by all-means, go for it when you and your family are ready to do so. All that I'm trying to make you understand is that you absolutely cannot bring a new bird home and expect it to "cuddle", as you just stated, with your current bird. Chances are that this will not happen. So the bottom-line is that this new bird that you bring home must have it's own cage, toys, etc. waiting for it when you bring it home, you absolutely cannot bring a new bird home and just put it in your current bird's cage and house them together like he was housed with the mate that he just lost. That will be a horrible mistake, and it's also a potentially fatal mistake. And the reason I'm saying that you and your family must want to add a second Cockatoo to your family, one that you want to bond closely with and have a close relationship with, is because if you simply buy a second Cockatoo as a mate for your current bird, when they don't get along and they must be separated, or they simply tolerate each other but do not bond with each other, if you and your family don't really want the second bird as your own to bond with, the poor second bird is going to be alone, ignored, and unwanted...

Keep in-mind that this situation is one of the largest reasons that every Avian Rescue and Shelter, as well as Craigslist, is literally flooded with parrots that need to find homes, specifically large parrots like Cockatoos, Macaws, and Greys.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:20 PM
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Re: Need advice

I'm so sorry for your loss.

As for a new friend for your remaining bird, here's my vote: Don't. Every single one of my six birds wishes he or she were an only. All the attention. All the treats. At least for the time being, why not try keeping your survivor as an only and see how she does? She might like having you all to herself.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:29 PM
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Re: Need advice

Very sorry for your loss.

While you may be worried for your bird not having a mate, the biggest concern right now is getting the necropsy results back to ensure your bird did not pass anything infectious, which could and will spread to the other bird and you could go through this whole ordeal, twice.

Until you have necropsy results back, don't even think about getting a new bid. I lost my female tiel this year and while my male was lonely, I was more relieved to know she did not pass anything to him/ he is still healthy and happy, albeit a little lonely, but he is getting another companion in July, partly because he needs companionship, and partly because I realllllly want another bird, too. But as Ellen mentioned, don't get another bird unless you really want one, not to be a mate for the other bird.

Let us know what the results end up being! It will hopefully bring you some closure as well. Hold off on getting another bird until the results come back.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:52 AM
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Re: Need advice

My deepest condolences for the passing of your cockatoo. You can be certain the remaining bird is experiencing loss.

Pending the necropsy results, you'll have a more clear path. I'm assuming both were companion birds as opposed to wild "aviary" dwellers? The distinction will help you decide your options.

By inference it seems the survivor is an umbrella? Mixing species is not impossible, but similar size is helpful to prevent issues of physicality. I recently combined a citron and goffins with excellent results. Both were removed from their mates due to cockatoo aggression issues. Citron is female, goffins is male; thus far he has not shown a shred of aggression towards his now slightly larger friend. They are in a large flight cage sans nest-box, I have no desire to create a "Frankenbird!"
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:30 PM
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Re: Need advice - Necropsy results

I had so many comments I thought I would let you all know how the necropsy came out. Everything has not come back, but the vet strongly believes it was West Nile. She said the virus hit very quickly, probably only started damaging the body within the previous 24 hours. She said there was nothing we could have done, which relieves some guilt, but of course doesn't make the lose any easier.
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