Hi, My name is Shannon, companion to an 8 yr old Umbrella Cockatoo named Shaggy. I've read about what to expect before you get a cockatoo, and preparing yourself for the adventure ahead. Unfortunately, I'm past that point and have had Shaggy for his entire 8 years. He has been screaming for4 of the 8. I know all the things we're not supposed to do... yelling back,squirting with water, covering the cage, banging the cage, etc... I am completely at my wits end here. I love him very very much and it breaks my heart to even consider selling him... he can be so sweet and wonderful. I am serious though, I need some guidance as to how to curtail the screaming. I greet him immediately upon waking and returning home. As soon as I'm done greeting him, he starts screaming.

Sometimes he doesn't stop for several hours. Suddenly he'll stop, and play with his toys for awhile and just as suddenly start screaming again.. He won't let me talk on the phone, eat dinner, or watch television without screaming. Oh he'll stop screaming if I do everyting two feet from his cage, but honestly, we can't live like that! I've checked online into some parrot training tapes and courses, do you think this will help? He's got a big cage, lots of toys, and he gets scratched and talked to a lot.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Shannon
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Hi, My name is Shannon, companion to an 8 yr old Umbrella Cockatoo named Shaggy. I've read about what to ... a big cage, lots of toys, and he gets scratched and talked to a lot. Any advice would be appreciated.[/nq]I have an old Umbrella Cockatoo. His voice is "normal" when he screams, but that's very rare. There are two times when he will scream. One is if he's locked in a cage. The screaming starts about 1/2 hour after the cage is locked. It stops about 30 seonds after the cage is opened. The other is if a light is left on when he thinks it's time to sleep. Again, the screaming is continuous intil the situation is corrected. (lights out).

He prefers a very high perch. My ceiling is 16' in one area, and after placing a perch about 2' below the apex he's been quite content. He spends most of his time there, perfectly quiet. He's a "rescue" bird which has given up on humans. He won't bond to me or my wife, though he doesn't attack and will take offered food. He gets along with our two B&G's to the point of trading grooming sessions with them.

Advice? I'd think there is something he doesn't like in his current environment. Try some changes. I can't tell from your description what the problem might be.
Advice? I'd think there is something he doesn't like in his current environment. Try some changes. I can't tell from your description what the problem might be.[/nq]I can: lack of attention. I know the owner feels they're taking time with the bird, but this is most likely not the case. 'too's are very needy birds - they need to be with their flock constantly, not left in the other room or locked in a cage all day or generally ignored. Much as I love them, I don't have a cockatoo (and I really love the goffin's) because I have to work all day. I do have other birds, but the other birds are generally not as needy as cockatoos (budgies, cockatiel, Timneh African Grey).

Even so, I make it a point to spend as much time as I can with my birds, making sure they're let out of their cages whenever possible (typically always when I'm home) and allowed to participate in whatever I'm doing. They're also provided with new toys regularly ("new" can mean rotating in older toys every week or so the bird thinks it's something new) and whatever other form of stimulation I can find.

Parrots, in general, are very intelligent and therefore become bored very easily. When they're alone, it's like solitary confinement.

Treat your bird as you would a small child, as best you can.

Claudia Engel (no emails please)
aka: Engelchen
Shannon, this came from a friend, with instructions to forward, as needed. HTH.
Regards
Hi, My name is Shannon, companion to an 8 yr old Umbrella Cockatoo named Shaggy. I've read about what to ... a big cage, lots of toys, and he gets scratched and talked to a lot. Any advice would be appreciated.[/nq]" I've read about what to expect before you get a cockatoo, ". Yet still you seem amazed that your U2 screams. Did you visit www.mytoos.com before you bought him? I have one too but was aware of the noise factor as I did my research. One of the problems you might have is that you work and when you get home, he greets you loudly, then you say hello and go off to do normal things like take a shower, cook a meal so he is ignored again. Thats how I got Pandora.

The previous owners led busy lives and she was ignored for most of the time. Luckily Pandora didn't end up as mentally damaged as the little goffin I now have who ended up first plucking, then chewing holes in her chest at the sheer distress of being ignoored and punished for screaming a welcome when her people came home. Cockatoos do NOT make good pets for normal working people. In all honesty, I doubt you will get your bird to stop being needy and stop screaming.

You are trying to stop him behaving like a cockatoo behaves. Perhaps it is time to place him in a home where there are people about most of the day and who can cope with the noise or keep him occupied.
dinner, or watch television without screaming. Oh he'll stop screaming if I do everyting two feet from his cage, but honestly, we can't live like that!

If your cockatoo wants to be near you constantly, maybe you can try using a portable perch or stand so that you can carry him to whatever room you happen to be in. If you go to the bathroom, kitchen, etc., try carrying the perch there. Maybe if as long as he is able to see you in the same room, he may be happy enough to stop screaming. Good luck.
dinner, or watch television without screaming. Oh he'll stop screamingif I do everyting two feet from his cage, but honestly, we can't live likethat!

If your cockatoo wants to be near you constantly, maybe you can try usinga portable perch or stand so that ... as he is able to see you in the same room, he maybe happy enough to stop screaming. Good luck.

This no doubt would stop the screaming but I think it is an unreasonable solution. In fact, it is reinforcing the very behavior she wants to change.

karen
There's sojme good advice in this thread, but if you do give the bird away, the best way to do so is to contact a local bird club in your area and inquire about their bird adoption program.
Dave
Original Message

Newsgroups: rec.pets.birds
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: Screaming Cockatoo
This no doubt would stop the screaming but I think it is an unreasonable solution. In fact, it is reinforcing the very behavior she wants tochange. karen

That might be true.. but you have to look at what a cockatoo is.. i have a Moluccan named Punkin and have had her now for 2 years.. she likes a schedule.. she likes new toys monthly.. she must have her breakfast, lunch, dinner before you eat yours or you can't say grace over her screaming at you.. so she gets a plate of our food if it's appropriate or her food if it's not..
i treat her like a toddler.. and it works.. she does shower with me every day.. sits on the shower bar and screams and flaps and I splash water on her (she does not like to get completely wet)
If i'm gone and hubbies home.. then she gets on her portable stand and goes with him to his office..
she's stopped most of her plucking since i got her.. she's happy and very sweet most of the times.. at dark she goes to bed in her own bedroom in her sleepy cage.. she likes full darkness.. and expects someone to come get her as soon as the sun is up and move her to her day cage play area..

she also has a happy birdie scream and you'd best fix this i'm mad scream.. and i'm scared come get me scream.. she really is quiet most of the time with just few minutes bursts of screaming.. though i love to see her do the wingflapping top of her voice.. happy birdie scream.. she didn't do that when we got her Emotion: smile
I think if you work at it.. you can figure out why your bird is screaming and come to some way to alleviate most of it..
Sandy
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