One of the most popular species of cockatoo is the Umbrella cockatoo.
According to the website "NetPets", in the article entitled "Cockatoo Bathing and Species-Specific Behavior", written by Donna Hefton, the Umbrella cockatoo comes from the islands of Micronesia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. These island inhabitants are well-favored, attractive birds. The website article entitled "Umbrella Cockatoo", published by Sutton Aviary, describes in the following, the physical characteristics of the Umbrella cockatoo. It says the Umbrella cockatoo is a large cockatoo that stands between 17 and 18 inches high. These beautiful birds are white, and the undersides of the wings and tail feathers are yellow. Umbrella cockatoos also have white feathers on top of their heads that form an impressive, wide crest. Their legs, feet, and beaks are ebony. They have a bluish-white ring around their eyes. Female Umbrella cockatoos have brown or reddish-brown eyes, and males have deep brown or ebony colored eyes.
The website Pet support USA Avian Reference Library, in the article entitled "Cockatoo, Umbrella", published by Pet support USA, describes the personality of the Umbrella cockatoo. It says these birds are a very loving species that form a special bond with their family members. Umbrella cockatoos that are hand-fed enjoy having their feathers stroked and thrive on lots of love and attention. According to "The Cockatoo Webring", in the article entitled "Cockatoos!!", even though Umbrella cockatoos are friendly and lovable, they can cause a great deal of damage. If not closely watched, they will chew on just about anything. The same article says they are very self-centered and require lots of time and attention. This should be taken into consideration before adopting an Umbrella cockatoo.
Since Umbrella cockatoos are large, it is important to purchase a cage that will allow the birds plenty of space, says "Cockatoo, Umbrella". The cage should be large enough so the bird is able to stretch and flap its wings comfortably. "Cockatoo, Umbrella" provides the following suggestions when deciding on a cage and accessories for your bird. It says to be sure the bars of the cage are spaced close enough to prevent the bird from getting its head caught. For an Umbrella cockatoo, the recommended spacing between the bars should be no greater than 3/4 of an inch.
Many Umbrella cockatoos feel more secure at night if their cages are covered. Form-fitting cage covers can be bought at most pet stores or they can be made from purchased material. The cage should have perches of varying sizes so the feet are not in the same position all of the time. Perches made of concrete are available, but these should not be used exclusively since they can be hard on the feet.
The same article says providing toys will amuse and hopefully discourage your Umbrella cockatoo from playing with food containers. It also recommends ropes designed especially for large birds, colorful synthetic toys, and wooden toys. Exchanging toys for different ones periodically will keep the bird from becoming bored with them. Also suggested are ladders and swings for your Umbrella cockatoo.
Umbrella cockatoos should be offered a variety of foods. "Cockatoos!!" recommends the following diet for these birds. It says they should be fed pellets formulated especially for cockatoos. Vegetables and fruits should be included in their daily diet. Supplements of cheese, yogurt, skim milk, chicken, and turkey can also be included in the Umbrella cockatoo's diet. Things that should not be fed to Umbrella cockatoos or any bird are chocolate, avocado, caffeine, and alcohol. These can be deadly. Foods of no nutritional value should be avoided as well.
"Cockatoo Bathing and Species-Specific Behavior," says it is important for the Umbrella cockatoo to regularly bathe. Doing so will keep the bird's feathers in good condition. It says cockatoos that are not able to properly bathe will sometimes preen their feathers until they are damaged. The bird will then begin plucking them out. The same article says to provide the bird with a shower of water that mimics a shower in a natural environment. A plant misting bottle with an adjustable tip works very well.
Umbrella cockatoos have a naturally forming powder on their plumage. "Cockatoo Bathing and Species-Specific Behavior," says a cockatoo in good health will produce this powder as its feathers dry. If your Umbrella cockatoo does not produce this powder, the same article says the bird should be examined by a veterinarian who specializes in birds. There may be a medical problem requiring attention.
"Cockatoos!!" says it is important to begin clipping the wings and nails of a bird while it is young. Umbrella cockatoos that are hand-fed and held on a regular basis will not mind. The same article suggests having an experienced person demonstrate how to clip the wings and nails before attempting to do so. "Cockatoos, Umbrella," says that nails will need to be clipped about every three months, and wings should be clipped approximately twice a year.
Umbrella cockatoos often outlive their owners. The Umbrella cockatoo has been known to live sixty years or more, according to "Cockatoos!!". When adopting an Umbrella cockatoo, it is important to realize this pet may be a life-long companion that has special requirements. When given proper care and attention, the Umbrella cockatoo gives in return, lots of enjoyment, and a lifetime of love.