So...I'm not a huge large parrot person. There are a few species I like a lot, but have never gone crazy over them. My husband probably is even less interested in them. We were visiting a pet store today where an old aviary friend works. We both ended up cooing over a goffins who gently groomed out faces, hopped around like a nut, and greatly enjoyed sticking his head out the bars to be scratched. I've got to say, I fell. Hard. I can't believe how much my husband was fussing over the little guy, I've never seen him do that before. XD I wouldn't be getting one anytime soon if we did decide to get one, but would love to hear from those who have owned this species, the good and the bad. We would most likely go through a bird adoption group for something like a parrot.
Tell me about...Goffin Cockatoos
Cockatoos can be very friendly, because they crave living within an interactive flock. When the level of interaction falls below what they consider to be a minimal standard, they will voice their protests -- LOUDLY. They can be awesome birds, but unless someone is home all the time and is willing to incorporate the bird into most aspects of life, keeping a single cockatoo as an "only bird" is a daunting task, which will probably require earplugs for the owner(s). If you are willing and able to provide the attention required, cockatoos can be extremely rewarding and devoted pets -- but even when they're happy, they are loud. If this is not something you can tolerate, steer clear of cockatoos.
Look here to find some info on the dark side of keeping cockatoos. I'm not against them being in captivity, so long as they are happy and healthy. It's just that most people looking for a pet bird are unable to accomplish this task, especially as you described yourself and your husband as not typical bird people.
Also look here to see one special lady who has taken it upon herself to provide a dignified retirement for unwanted breeder cockatoos -- and how, within a flock setting, their emotional needs can finally be met.
I must confess that I am a failed cockatoo rescuer. Here's the story:
Before I moved to Buffalo, I lived on Long Island with some roommates in a rented home. I've had Sammy, the DYHA in my picture, since July 1998. One of my roommates was a real estate agent, and was hosting an open house. He called me, having realized he left his cell phone at home, and also asked some questions about birds, because there was a cockatiel and a lesser sulphur crested cockatoo at the house he was trying to sell. I brought the phone out to him, and saw a pitiful cockatoo begging for attention in a dirty cage with little food or water. I didn't take the bird out, but petted it through the bars and cleaned its food and water dishes. I told my roommate "when the home owners return, tell them that if they don't want their bird, I'll take it." He did, but they declined. It was only when the cockatiel died a few weeks later (cause unknown) that they changed their mind and asked me to come pick up the bird.
It was a wedding present from the husband to the wife. "Her" name was Sambuca (but based on eye-color, I presumed the bird to be a boy), and after the kids were born, they were "just to scared to let her out of the cage." Before that, she was friendly. Then she started shredding some of her feathers (mostly under the wings) and now the husband was afraid of her. I brought a carrier, and they let me take the cage (no money was exchanged...they just wanted her to be happy). He warned me about getting her out and into the carrier, but I am very calm and understand animals (let's just say that Temple Grandin and I have some things in common), and when I finally opened the cage, Sambuca (Buca for short) stepped up on my hand and calmly went into the carrier.
When we got home, I took Buca into my bedroom, shut the door, and put the carrier on the bed. I opened the carrier and waited for him (I presumed it was a boy, so from here on in there's a gender change) to come out on his own. I sat on the floor. He came out, peered at me over the edge of the bed, and said "Hi!" I let him come to me, but he did so rather quickly. He must have been aching for attention. We played a little with some paper and a couple of parrot toys, and then I offered my hand for him to step up. He did. I slowly opened the door, and walked to the room where his cage was, and returned him to it. It was in the same room as Sammy, and he was terrified of Sammy (though Sammy seemed rather curious but quickly lost interest). I made some fresh food and let the new roommates settle in.
He was very quickly becoming more and more friendly, but then it happened -- he lost his shyness, and began demanding the attention he wasn't getting for years by screaming REALLY loudly. I have never experienced that sound from Sammy, and even he seemed annoyed to hear something so loud. I tried encouraging Buca to play on his own with toys, offering any kind of distraction I could think of -- knotted twine to work on, paper to shred, new toys, etc. Personally, I could have worked through his screaming, but I was making life miserable for my roommates. After a month or so, I realized that it wasn't working, and contacted the head of a parrot group I knew on Long Island.
She put me in touch with a member who had been looking to rescue a cockatoo -- already had a huge cage empty and ready in a bedroom with two others for a rescued timneh grey and a hybrid ruby macaw. I talked with her, met with her, and introduced her to Buca (who reverted to the silent sweetness of when we first met). I explained everything we were going through, what to expect, but also what my course of action would have been if I didn't have non-deaf roommates. I cried the whole ride home, feeling that while my intentions were good, I had failed in my attempt. Happily, Buca would be living with a woman whose pets were all rescues (she also had about ten dogs, yet I didn't even know until she showed me her back yard, where they were running around during my visit), kept an impeccably clean home (she was an RN who had to stop working because of a back injury after a car accident), and cared for her animals in a way that would make children jealous.
After later finding the Cockatoo Rescue website (the second link I posted above), I promised myself that when I own a home, it will be in a rural area, where I can do something similar for unwanted parrots (especially cockatoos). I don't mind the noise myself, as long as I know they're screams of joy.
Edited by AquaEyes - 8/20/11 at 6:04pm
Thanks so much for all the info! I actually read through the mytoos website before posting here, and am happy for the information. I should clarify though, that when I say I'm not a parrot person, I mean more, I am not a typical parrot person in that the popular sun conures, macaws, etc. never appealed to me in the sense of having them as pets. I did enjoy working with most of them, and they seemed to like me regardless of my general indifference to them. XD I was just more interested in the Patagonian conures and our hawk-head, where as most everyone else did not like them. Everyone liked working with our umbrella 'too though, and she was awesome. Husband and I both go nuts over some birds, pigeons generally, turkeys/chickens/ducks, some raptors and exotics, but only recently have opened up to the idea of parrots as pets (partly because we are now stable financially and were not before).
Thanks so much for taking the effort to find Buca a good fit!
I have a rb2 and i love her she is my first larger bird and she is shy and doesnt scream except when shes really mad at cricket my green cheek or shes in pain or needs help but she whistles when i come home and talks her words but she is a one person kinda bird but i love her shes great goes through toys like crazy and i mostly play with her at night and morning as well as afternoon because im away most mid day but she is very uses to my schedule and loves her head scratches and never has bitten me too too hard but she loves to throw her food to get me to clean it up i think she has a silent laugh and she also will whistle constantly to get me to come over and will even fall to the bottom of her cage to get me to come puck her up and hold her since she seems not to know how to climb only when im in the room though but i thought id share this because they are sorta similar to a goffin but all birds are diffrent but shes amaxung bird and sometimes i fell like me and her have some sort of telepythe hope i spelled it right:P
we had a goffins for a couple of years...possibly the sweetest bird ive ever known, all he wanted to do was snuggle...
but there was a prblem...he became incredibly attatched to my dad who worked long hours and didnt want anything much to do with anyone else...
this meant despite our best efforts to keep him content with other peoples attentions he spent most of the day screaming for my dad (who was at work) he was out most of the day, but hed still spend the time screaming.
we worried given he was young that this screaing would eventually turn into more serious problems (plucking ect) and since my dad couldnt take him to work with him ect we decided it would be better to find him a new home.
after alot of searching he found an amazing home with a special needs little girl (i normally dont like parrots for kids, but she had a wonderfull supportive famly too) shes home schooled and he loved her the moment he met her, shed had him for almost 5 years now and updates us regularly and hes a very happy well spoilt and now relitivly quiet bird, but they ar eliterally together almost 24/7
toos in general seem to need that 24/7 interaction that rasing a 2 yr old child would need, there not the kind of birds that will play happily in their cage while you make dinner just after getting home from work ect...
they are sweet, gentle natured, incredibly loving and devoted, but not the kind of parrot id suggest for a first time parrot keeper.
current critter crew: 2 chinese crested dogs, 1 black DSH cat, 1 sever macaw, 2 Lineolated Parakeets, and a multitude of fish!
current critter crew: 2 chinese crested dogs, 1 black DSH cat, 1 sever macaw, 2 Lineolated Parakeets, and a multitude of fish!
I see this thread is older, but wanted to add my 2 cents in case anyone else ever looks here for advice on Goffin Cockatoos. I have not found our Goffin to be as loud, obnoxious, or needy as it might seem from some of the previous posts. I think like all pets, and especially the large birds, the more time you spend with them, the better adjusted and better pet they are. However, our Goffin doesn't get out of her cage until about 6:30 every night--my husband and I both work all day. She knows this, and she has adjusted very well to it. However, she DOES know when 6:30 rolls around, and if we don't show up pretty quick, she will let us know that we have "forgotten" her! LOL! Goffin's are mischievous and onery and affectionate. I have never had a more interesting, entertaining, or fulfilling pet.
This is indeed an old thread but I'll respond as well just in case someone happens across it looking for help.
I have the perspective of someone that has loved parrots (and has been owned by them) since age 5, and I have been on both sides of the issue-- I worked in retail pet stores for many years as well.
One of the things that infuriate me most is seeing a cockatoo in a pet store. Cockatoos... even the (yes) more mellow and arguably "quieter" goffins and bare-eyed, are not suitable pets for most people. I think that there are some people that are just crazy enough and have enough spare time and money to properly give a cockatoo what it needs-- and there are a few people to have lucky 'gems' of individual birds that are not needy-- but as a whole, cockatoos are just not good pets for many people.
There it is-- a baby or young cockatoo in a retail pet store. People that enter the store are animal lovers, and then they meet this sweet bird that just wants to be on you and love you. It's soft, and has large deep eyes. It might even be able to talk-- and your heart melts. There is literally nothing not to love at this moment. So many people bring cockatoos home this way-- and it breaks my heart, because I would guess that perhaps only 1 in 20 or less will keep that bird until the end of its long life for all of the reasons already mentioned on the mytoos site. I have wanted to take home cockatoos before-- and I know better! That's how good they are at making you fall in love with them. It's hard to wrench yourself away. I hope, for the bird's sake, that more people do wrench themselves away and at least carefully think it over like the OP did.
Gee, this is the first time I’ve ever strayed from the emu forum. There were Muirs Corellas, an endangered species, feeding in front of my farm house this morning. We regularly have both types of white-tailed black cockatoos, and occasionally the red-tailed black cockatoos, which are my favourite.
Supreme Emu, Rocky Gully, Western Australia
Question to ask yourself before you take home a too
1 do you have the time? They need every minute of your time or they think, they demand it lol.
2 can you deal with screaming like you never heard before,it runs up your spine
3 do you have neighbors that can hear the screams if so, will they put up with it?
4 do you have young kids in your house, toos get very loud with kids playing and being loud.
5 are you ready to take care of a two year old FOR LIFE?
6 you need to know about parrots a cockatoo is not for a first time owner of parrots.
7 are you ready to get bit by that large beak, its going to happen, it could be that they are playing or they are telling you I am not in the mood to be messed with.
A lot of people come to my house they truly fall in love with my cockatoo,and they say oh I am going to get one! I tell them NO, your life style is not good, for you to bring one home.you have to have the time for them, and not all cockatoo is going to be like mine.
My cockatoo her name is Lady, I got her when she was 6 month old, she is now 16 years old.
I did my home work before I got her, yes I had the time for her, I taught her to play by her self, she had a box of toys, on my bed I didn't play with her at this time she needed to learn to play without me.I would take her to girl scouts and let the kids hold her, did the same when I took her to soccer, I wanted her to be around people and to trust them.to this day she will let anyone pick her up and be loved on.
As for the yelling, rarely does she yells, but it does happen, YOU DO NOT YELL BACK TELLING THEM TO SHUT UP LOL, that is what they want,you just very quietly tell her to hush, then show her the spray bottle of water, it works everytime,
Lady is my baby and she knows that she OWNS HER MOM.
so please do your homework if you want a parrot try a cockateil they are very fun,and they don't demand the time like a cockatoo.
I got a goffin sort of as a rescue. After two years I finally found a keeper of many healthy parrots who was happy to take him from me and had the time and a potential mate for him.. He was loving, adorable, sweet, intelligent, and a complete and total demon at the same time. I wouldn't trade the experience, but I also wouldn't do it again. The intelligence of these birds leads to a me first and I'm going to punish you when I'm not attitude. I consider them the "pitbull" of parrots...
I'm not saying don't get one, but they are not a low maintenance bird so be prepared.