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Old 02-22-2013, 03:48 PM
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Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

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I'm on the hunt for adding a new bird to my family, and after countless weeks of research, I have come down to an African Grey, BG or Green winged macaw, or a cockatoo. I am aware of the attention each of these birds require and am able to devote the time needed. I would not consider getting something I felt I could not care for properly. I enjoy a cuddly bird, so I'm not 100% sure about getting a grey, but I admire their intelligence, size and the quieter of the three(although noise level isn't a huge concern as I live alone in the middle of nowhere) Anyways, what do you like/dislike about these birds? I'd love to just hear your personal experiences from owners.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:00 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

Oh, and also everytime I mention the word cockatoo I get told all sorts of negative things that almost make me want to scratch them off the list, but are they really as bad as people claim? I never jump to conclusions until finding out for myself, and feel as if they are given a bad rep similar to the way pit bulls are given bad reps. I love the fact that they are so affectionate.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:10 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

I love cockatoos so much, but I cannot trust a adult white cockatoo that I do not know, and am careful and respectful. I have no trouble trusting a macaw or African gray if their person says they are good.
In my opinion cockatoos do not make good pets, you really need to be above average bird person to be able to take care of one and make sure it is mentally healthy. Not many cockatoos are parent raised and you'll need a very good breeder who makes sure their babies know that they are birds not humans.

I like African grays because they are easy to read, they talk with their body very well if your willing to listen. And I like macaws because many seem to realize the strength of their beak, and although they may give you a painful bite they rarely go full force.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:15 PM
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Good luck with your search! I decided on a grey but every 2 days I'm away for 36 hours so them not being snuggly will work in my favor, just have the girlfriend open its cage for a few hours a day while I'm gone. All 3 are amazing! Hopefully someone here can steer you in the right direction!

Have you not heard? The bird is the word!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:29 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

My Grey (Congo) is SUPER cuddly, like stereotypical cockatoo cuddly. I have a Galah that loves to snuggle for a bit, then he's off to explore and do something silly. Both birds are super social with everyone in my family and with guests, which is nice. I enjoy sharing my parrots with others. I have never owned a macaw, but I lived with someone who did. Let's just say that I'm not a macaw person. His didn't like me, for whatever reason, despite the fact that I had to care for them for long periods of time during his frequent hospitalizations. The worst bite I ever received from any parrot was from his Scarlet macaw. I, no doubt, deserved it, but I just don't speak "macaw" very well, apparently. They're beautiful birds for the right person. Just make sure you are.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:26 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

Thats a tough one! I don't have experience with greys or macaws. I have a lot of experience with Aussie cockatoos. I think it depends on...

1. what you personally want from a bird; what traits in a companion parrot are most important to you. The little stuff isn't as important as the things that you really hold dear.

Cockatoos are generally cuddly, bossy, loud, dusty, mind blowingly heart melting adorable, they arent great talkers usually (except for some corella species), most aren't pretty, snuggly, puppy like, very intelligent, untrustworthy, chewers, clowns, an entertaining blast to own.

Greys are normally sweet, talkative, impressively intelligent, easy to get along with, trust worthy and lovely companion. (grey owners could elaborate)

Macaws seem talkative, destructive, more trustworthy than a cockatoo, beautiful, sweet and sassy, very clever, somewhat clown like (macaw owners could elaborate)

2. what YOU can offer a highly intelligent bird; how much time do you have and what kind of activities can you split your time between? Are you the kind of person that has slow, calm, gentle movements or are you a more energetic, bubbly and bouncy person?

Cockatoos love colourful personalities If you love dancing around like a loon, your cockatoo will happily dance around with you. Cockatoos are like a little feathered puppy-dog-child. They also love calm gentle people and if you learn everything you can about their behaviour and mix up their activities, they are very adaptable creatures... stuck in a routine however they can become very stuck in their ways and act out accordingly (don't let your cockatoo get stuck in a routine OR think he is boss ).

I know greys can learn to tolerate and live with a lot if conditioned from an early age, but from what I have learnt they seem to prefer a calmer environment and most prefer talking and head scratches to dancing around, cuddles and playing like cockatoos do. I have heard they can be very fussy naturally and will initially treat all new situations, people, objects etc with suspicion. They are more emotionally deep and intelligent than a cockatoo and are more like a calm child. I get the feeling they would be the ultimate companion for a single person who rarely has another person to talk to.

I think Macaws are a bit of a mix of the two, a gentle giant who can be silly and loves playing but is much calmer/more relaxed than a cockatoo. I know next to nothing about macaws But I get the feeling if you smooshed the personality of a cockatoo and a grey into a huge brightly coloured body you would get a macaw.

3. what can you tolerate; what kinds of sounds make your blood boil (volume is sometimes less important than the type of sound), are you the type of person that is able to sit still for half an hour or longer while your cockatoo requires snuggles etc.

Cockatoos calls vary between species, some (like the galah) have a very high pitched ear piercing scream that as far as volume goes is probably not even as loud as a sun conure. I would even say its possible to keep a galah in an apartment if its well entertained. But the high pitched nature of the call can be highly irritating to some. Bare eyed cockatoos have a really amusing quavering call that is VERY high in volume (probably even louder than a greater sulfur crested) but its rather amusing... sounds a bit like an opera singer. Mine only annoys me because I know the neighbours could hear him, otherwise I wouldn't care at all. He looks ridiculous calling as well, he opens his mouth stupidly wide LOL Most other cockatoos have a very harsh scream, some have a mournful whine. Try youtube to get an idea of which sounds you can tolerate.

Greys make a variety of sounds and are so good at mimicing... there is the potential for them to pick up sounds you hate and repeat them to their hearts desire... the phone, a fire siren, your alarm clock, a phrase you get sick of hearing LOL Some love to talk and make sounds all day long. If you can't stand people talking at you all day long, think long and hard before getting a grey

Again to me the macaws seem like middle ground. They seem to me like better mimics than cockatoos but arent as chatty as greys. They also seem to have a comparable call to a cockatoo, but louder or smoother? Again, I know next to nothing about macaws but have seen a few youtube vids
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:15 AM
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A Grey can be very playful and can be very funny if it is socialized well. I've heard all sorts of funny stories of Greys acting like clowns.

Have you not heard? The bird is the word!
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:12 AM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

Quote: Originally Posted by cthulhus_minion View Post
A Grey can be very playful and can be very funny if it is socialized well. I've heard all sorts of funny stories of Greys acting like clowns.

Have you not heard? The bird is the word!
Ooooooooooooooohhhhh c'mon. LMAO!!!!

Curse you, it's now stuck in my head.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:56 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

My aunt had an African Grey. I asked her what it was like to own a large parrot (since my dream bird is a Macaw). Her Grey would talk. My aunt advise me to get a baby and
to watch what I said if I ever did get a Macaw . When I worked at a dog rooming facility someone boarded their African Grey (which talked and talked and talked). The bird seemed to be having a conversation with itself. Once at the pet store a man had a Macaw and two cockatoos he was showing to the public. I was allowed to pet the Macaw but the cockatoos did not interact with the public (I do not know what that tells you). The pet store has their own cockatoo which once gave a worker a big bite because she did not want to go back in her cage. There are people that own these birds on this form. I been on the Macaw section and learn for example Macaws can destroy toys pretty quickly. I also advise to get a bird that will meet what you desire. Such as how much noise do you want to take, how much destruction can you take? Would it frustrate you if the wireing to your computer got destroyed by a beak? I heard Macws and conures are cuddly (just not as much as a cockatoos). My conure loves head scratches and will lay on its back in my hand.

Last edited by Abigal7; 08-01-2014 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:05 PM
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Re: Which do you prefer? Greys, macaws or cockatoos?

My greys are pretty stoic. I love them and they amuse me with their antics, but they will never be cuddlers, and this seems pretty typical for the breed from what I've read. These birds are perfect for my husband, who is very similar in personality, but I'm more of a goof and for that reason I look forward to getting a macaw. I want a bird that will be almost like a dog in its affections if I can find one, and a macaw seems to fit that bill better than any other bird without being terribly tempermental.
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