Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

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Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Chri » Sat, 17 Oct 1998 04:00:00



Hello,

I have an opportunity to purchase a beautiful 6 year old female Umbrella
***atoo from a friend for $500.00. My friend is just baby-sitting the bird
for the original owner, who loaned it to her when she moved with the
understanding she (my friend), would try and find a good home for it. My
friend says the bird (Spooky) prefers to be around men, which I don't doubt
as she raises her crest and starts hopping around as soon as I walk in the
door (in an e***d, as opposed to defensive posture). Spooky jumps right
on my arm, rides around on my shoulder, and in general seems to like me a
lot. I never really thought that much about birds until I was introduced to
Spooky, but now I'm very interested.

I'd like to go ahead and get her, but there are a couple of things which
might be a problem and I feel like I owe it to the bird and myself to make
sure we're compatible (sounds like I'm getting married...sheesh).

First, I'm single and live alone. I am gone 8-10 hours a day and there is
nobody else in the apartment. I can position the cage in front of a window
and open the blinds to give the bird something to watch while I'm gone. I
expect to be at home talking/handling the bird 2-3 hours a day. Also, the
birds cage will be in my bedroom so it will be in my presence another 7-8
hours a day while I'm sleeping. Is this enough attention to keep the bird
sane?

Second, about twice a year I go on trips that last 5-8 days. My
understanding is the bird would go completely insane given this much time
without attention. Is this true? Are there in-home pet care or boarding
services that could take care of the bird while I'm gone to keep this from
happening?

Third, I'm a light smoker. Always with the windows open and never in my
bedroom. I read the thread about this and I don't think it will be a
problem as long as the bird isn't exposed to a smoky room and I wash my
hands before handling her.

Finally, I also like reptiles. I have a Ball Python and a Red Tail Boa
housed in a cage separate from the room I would be keeping the bird in.
There is no way I would ever consider getting them in the same room or
handling one without washing my hands to get the scent off (I do not want a
6 foot Constrictor to mistake me for a snack). But, would the bird sense
the presence of the snakes, even in another room and freak out?

Given these conditions, am I the right sort of person to get this bird? I
really like Spooky and would love to keep her but I don't want to do it
unless I'd make a good owner. Thanks for your thoughts on this...

Chris

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by kay chok » Sat, 17 Oct 1998 04:00:00


Just the fact that you're asking the questions shows that you're a
pretty thoughtful person. Good intentions are usually not enough with
these birds. They are a MAJOR investment of time, money, and emotions.
Ask yourself why the original person is giving up this bird...especially
for $500. Could it have problems you're not aware of yet? It's hard to
tell if they have problems at first because the first experience you
usually get is them latching onto you & turning into love sponges.
While 'toos CAN be taught to entertain themselves at a young age with
lots of toys, they still should have more company than you say you'll be
able to provide. I'm lucky, while me & my sig other both work, we have
different shifts and we're both able to come home for lunch, so Gyro
gets 6-7 hours of company a day. I'd pass on it, if I were you, and wait
for a while.

Kay

The Earth does not belong to man---man belongs to the earth.
All things are connected, like the *** that unites us all.
Man did not weave the web of life, but he is a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Mark Berkle » Sat, 17 Oct 1998 04:00:00


Quote:


> >Hello,

> >I have an opportunity to purchase a beautiful 6 year old female Umbrella
> >Cockatoo from a friend for $500.00. My friend is just baby-sitting the bird

> If you could arrange a trial marriage so to speak it may very well be successful
> . It might help to leave a tv on during the day while you are gone. Will the
> person who is now sitting the bird do the same for you when you are out of town?
> It sounds like you would be a good bird person. I hope you realise this should
> be a long term commitment.

> Bob

That's an excellent idea!  And, its just what I did a couple of years
ago when a friend just knew he had to have a***atoo also.  I just
packed mine up and took him over there and let my friend keep him for
about 4 days (a long weekend).  It cured him of wanting one of those
neat birds you see in the store.  At home they can initiate a whole new
perspective about owning a large bird.

On the other hand, I bought my umbrella over 14 years ago and didn't
know anything about this type of bird and have survived.  They can be
the sweetest cuddly birds.  Before I bought her I had no idea birds
could be like that.  All of the other birds I had owned over the years
were very different in how I could handle them.

On another item you mentioned, I strongly do not recommend keeping an
umbrella***atoo in your bedroom.  I've tried it and due to being a
light sleeper it really didn't work well.  But, the real issue for me is
the mess and thick layer of white powder that gets all over
everything...  like dark clothing*** in a closet close by.

I don't have an opinion on the smoking thing, but if you do this you
should make sure the bird's wings are kept clipped such that it will not
fly into one of the windows you keep open and knock the screen out and
fly away.

Another topic... you said apartment.  Many people don't know how loud a
bird like a***atoo will sound in the adjacent apartment until they
hear it.  Lots of people have sold their pets that they loved because of
this.  Too many complaints.

Okay, and the snakes.  I've found that things that resemble snakes scare
my bird.  (Such as a belt left laying on the bed.)  Snake are a natural
enemy for birds, just like many other pets, and special care needs to be
taken such that the bird does not feel threatened and worries itself
into feather plucking which is extremely common for***atoos.
(Probably more so from boredom.)

I know this all sounds completely negative, but I love***atoos and
think they make wonderful pets.  But I do feel like this is a very large
leap for a first-time bird owner.  One of the toughest things to
overcome is that patience and care must be stricktly adhered to.  You
must be able to discipline yourself not to try to punish a bird like you
might a dog or a cat.  It just doesn't work that way and everytime I see
a bird that cowers down when you down when you are holding something
above the bird, I wonder if a previous owner didn't try rolling up a
newspaper and swatted the bird for disciplinary reasons.

If there is any way you can personally test drive this bird for a couple
of weeks before you make the commitment you will be better off either
way.  How else will you know how you are going to feel about a noisy
bird when you're trying to watch Monday Night Football??????

Good Luck!

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Bob Lorenzi » Sun, 18 Oct 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
>Hello,

>I have an opportunity to purchase a beautiful 6 year old female Umbrella
>Cockatoo from a friend for $500.00. My friend is just baby-sitting the bird

If you could arrange a trial marriage so to speak it may very well be successful
. It might help to leave a tv on during the day while you are gone. Will the
person who is now sitting the bird do the same for you when you are out of town?
It sounds like you would be a good bird person. I hope you realise this should
be a long term commitment.

Bob

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Dawn2 » Sun, 18 Oct 1998 04:00:00


I have to agree with Mark on the apartment thing!!!
Especially if the woman the bird is with now is home during the day with the
bird.Then the bird comes to your house, where you'll be gone 7-8 hours a day,
he's not gonna be a happy camper!!
When i leave for work in the morning, my MOL lets everyone in my neighborhood
know i've left him!!! The larger birds have "voices" like you wouldn't
believe!!!!!
Don't get me wrong, not all birds scream excessively, but "too's" are known to
be velcro birds, loving to have their humans around ALL the time. Some adjust,
but others do not.
The other factor is the powder issue.
  1) Stand in room bird will be living in.
  2) Hold large container of baby powder.
   3)Now imagine that container exploding, spreading powder all over room.
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF "TOO's !!!!!    <vbg>
Also you mentioned about trips. You can't just fill their food bowls & leave
them for a week. There are "pet-sitters" or most vets do boarding.Or maybe even
the friend your getting him from would be willing to "birdy-sit"
while your gone.
I give you credit for asking questions BEFORE buying! I am not knocking Too's
at all. I wouldn't trade mine for anything in the world! I look forward to
coming home from work & just snuggling with my too's!
I also think a "test" drive would also be a good idea if the person is willing
to do so. If she is truely looking for a good home for the bird, i don't think
she would have a problem with it.(Obviously its not a money issue, $500 for an
umbie is quite low).
Sorry for the long post.
Let us know what you decide!!

 Dawn,  Baby,  Izzy  &  Pierre
Human- MSC - CAG  -   MOL

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Chri » Sun, 18 Oct 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>I also think a "test" drive would also be a good idea if the person is willing
>to do so. If she is truely looking for a good home for the bird, i don't think
>she would have a problem with it.(Obviously its not a money issue, $500 for an
>umbie is quite low).
>Sorry for the long post.
>Let us know what you decide!!

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have decided to borrow the bird for 2
weeks with the understanding it's a trial run. The owner has no problem
with this and will gladly take Spooky back if it doesn't work out (she's a
lot more concerned about finding a good home for her than just selling the
bird).

Hope it works out but if not, that's okay too. I'll let you know either
way...

Chris

 
 
 

Cockatoo -am I right to get this bird?

Post by Parrotre » Sun, 18 Oct 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have decided to borrow the bird for 2
>weeks with the understanding it's a trial run

Very good choice!!!  Good luck and keep us posted!