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Old 08-19-2019, 12:48 AM
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Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

Hi all,

Just looking for some opinions/advice on a sulfer crested cockatoo Iíve adopted. Iíve been told heís a 2 year old male. He had been plucking his feathers previously but has stopped as heís now got new downy feathers all over.

What Iíve noticed since bringing him home (2 days ago) is if heís on my shoulder heís constantly beak clicking, he even stretches his head out and around to click near or against my face. While doing this Iíve never got the impression he was acting aggressively or was going to bite. He even tryís to open my dressing gown, pop his head inside (as if hiding) and clicks away. Heís gotten under a blanket on the chair and again, hidden himself away clicking excessively.
He has shown aggression towards my 2 year old daughter but I understand heís new to us and her but itís far from ideal as sheís frightened now and Iím having to stop him charging her when heís not in his cage.

While Iím not new to parrots (Iíve a beautiful albino Quaker/monk parrot) I am new to large parrots and I know cockatoos are in a different league if there own! were taking a trip to the vet this morning for a once over given his prior feather plucking etc I just want to make sure heís physically well. Any information or advice from you guys will be very much welcomed.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:23 AM
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Re: Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

Beak clicking is usually a sign of contentment and many parrots will do it when snuggled up on one's shoulder. The fact that yours is wanting to stick his head in your dressing gown alerts me to the fact that he might be feeling a tad frisky, even though you've only had him for a short time. You'll need to watch his behaviour to make a judgement on that, though.

You don't say where you are in the world. Here in Australia, Spring is approaching and my own cockatoo is very, very ready to mate and nest. I have to be careful not to give her sexy signals which can trigger unwanted behaviours like cage aggression and defensiveness of me (I believe she thinks I am her mate and that's why she doesn't like other family members around me). If you're in the southern hemisphere, I'd suggest you read up on 'hormonal parrots' pretty quick.

If not, then maybe your bloke is just being friendly? Two days isn't anywhere near long enough for him to have settled in, so his behaviour may change over time. Just be quiet and patient with him and watch him. Might be useful to keep a bit of a diary at first, y'know, especially when he's an adopted bird. It's always good to keep strong tabs on a cockatoo for a number of reasons: (i) the size of the bird and his beak; (ii) the neediness of the cockatoos as a group; (iii) the ongoing requirement for stimulation and occupation of these highly intelligent birds and (iv) the hormonal load of a singleton bird. All these aspects can be managed, but it needs a bit of planning and foresight.

You didn't say what your bird is called. Mine's a Little Corella, name of Miss Rosetta Stone. She says 'G'day and welcome' and so do I.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:24 AM
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Re: Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

I've observed beak clicking to cover the range of emotions and intentions. My goffins typically click as show of affection while the female citron does so as show of possession. So it is one of those conditional behaviors, you need to learn context.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

Generally speaking, when a parrot is grinding his beak, he's happy and relaxed. My 'too does it also when he's sleepy and ready for bed.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:34 AM
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Re: Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

Sometimes the cause of the upset can be found within the birds immediate surroundings, and sometimes the problem is so internalized that it is only known to the bird. We rearrange the furniture, re-outfit the cage and adjust the diet and hope we hit upon something that will make life more settled for the parrot. Usually, should we be lucky enough to find the cause, it is too late. For reasons that no one can be 100% certain of, the cockatoo parrots plucking often continues even once the source of the problem is eliminated.

Last edited by Allee; 08-22-2019 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Inappropriate link to ad
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:23 PM
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Re: Adopted cockatoo, excessive beak clicking

Quote: Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
Hi all,

Just looking for some opinions/advice on a sulfer crested cockatoo I’ve adopted. I’ve been told he’s a 2 year old male. He had been plucking his feathers previously but has stopped as he’s now got new downy feathers all over.

What I’ve noticed since bringing him home (2 days ago) is if he’s on my shoulder he’s constantly beak clicking, he even stretches his head out and around to click near or against my face. While doing this I’ve never got the impression he was acting aggressively or was going to bite. He even try’s to open my dressing gown, pop his head inside (as if hiding) and clicks away. He’s gotten under a blanket on the chair and again, hidden himself away clicking excessively.
He has shown aggression towards my 2 year old daughter but I understand he’s new to us and her but it’s far from ideal as she’s frightened now and I’m having to stop him charging her when he’s not in his cage.

While I’m not new to parrots (I’ve a beautiful albino Quaker/monk parrot) I am new to large parrots and I know cockatoos are in a different league if there own! were taking a trip to the vet this morning for a once over given his prior feather plucking etc I just want to make sure he’s physically well. Any information or advice from you guys will be very much welcomed.

Thanks in advance!
Likely trying to bond to you Cockatoos do that a lot. My males mostly. My female like to just sit on my shoulder and let no one near to pick her up from me, she let her mate Cooper near her, or take the spot if he wants it. .

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 08-21-2019 at 05:26 PM.
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