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Letters Of the Year

I get so many wonderful letters from people.  I get heartbreaking letters too.

These are the letters that I felt reflected the best of the best.  If every cockatoo
owner in the world thought this way, we wouldn't have nearly the problems we
have now.  If you do not understand these letters to the fullest, and maybe even
feel the same way, then you may not be the owner you could or should be......


Dear Jerry, Never have I seen a web site that has touched my heart or changed my life the way yours has. I happen to be one of the unprepared, first time "Too" adoptees you speak of. There have been times when I really thought that bird was out of his mind. There have been times when I thought he had finally driven me out of what was left of mine.

Your site helped me to see that neither of us are crazy, just in need. His needs are many. Mine is only one and it is simple.... To love him, NO MATTER WHAT. I have always been the type of person to take the animal that no one else wanted. The one that was hurt, or abused, or ugly, or damaged in some form or fashion. I ask nothing from them, only that they allow me to love and care for them. It is my way of giving back. In my home there are no "pets". They are all members of our family, some just happen to have fur, feathers, or even scales. Makes no difference. I have tried very hard to teach my children there are personalities within those little bodies, and those personalities should be respected as much as possible. In doing so I have taught my children responsibility for, and understanding of those around them. On their own they have learned empathy and patients. Two things I never could have taught them. And it is wonderful to see them with those shorter and furryer/featheryer then us.

Our "Too" was not brought into our home because I wanted something pretty to decorate my house or play with my kids. I thought, at the time, I was doing what was best for the bird in question. Now, your site has caused me to question that decision. After doing much research on the Congo African Gray, I had decided that was the bird for me. I had gone to a "Bird Show" to look around and talk to those that were experienced with such matters when I discovered "Sunny Bird". I had been wandering around for a bit when I heard a bird say, "What ya doin?". I turned to see pretty acrylic boxes all lined up on a table with some of the prettiest birds I had ever seen decorating the inside of each. Again I heard "What ya doin?". But it did not appear to come from any of the birds on the table. Looking to my left I saw a plan metal, not very attractive cage sitting on the floor. Inside this cage was one of the saddest birds I had ever seen. He was really thin and was missing most of the feathers on his neck, but there was something about that bird. I sat down next to his cage and he instantly tried to attack me through the bars.

Even then, there was something special about that bird. The lady in charge of all the acrylic cages ran to me at once, informing me that bird was "not completely tame". Just at that point he stuck his claw out to me. She was amazed. She told me she had had him for eight months and still couldn't get near him. He had been hand raised by a teenage boy who eventually graduated from High School, started college, and had taken a full time job. The bird had then begun to mutilate himself. The young man, not knowing what else to do, gave him to her. It was his hope that he would "learn" to get alone with other birds. Things went down hill from there. The mutilation had gotten much worse and he was at a point where he had stopped eating. He had allowed no one near him in months. She said she had brought him to the show just to get him out for a bit and hopefully pick his spirits up.

I knew he was going home with me the minute he reached for me. Yes, he had tried to bite me, and I had no doubt he would at some point. But, there was just something about that bird. Had I ever had a Cockatoo before? No. Did I have a clue what I was getting into? No. But at that point it was my fear he would starve himself to death if I didn't do something. I did what I have always done. I brought him home convinced I could love and care for him as I have always done with those in need.

Things went really well at first. He started bonding to me at once and it was only a matter of a few weeks before he was sitting on my arm and going from room to room with me. After having him for three months I finally felt he was ready for a trip to the vet. That one trip cost us everything and I was forced to start over. It demolished every ounce of trust I had built with him. It was three months before he would allow me to touch him again. And to this day, he still will not allow me to pick him up. At this point, Sunny Bird has gained weight and is eating well. All of his feathers have grown back in and he is talking up a storm. I am still the only one that can get near him and that is based strictly on how he is feeling at the time. I do not push or demand anything from him, and allow him to set the tone for each day. If he does not feeling like playing, we don't play. If he doesn't want to talk, we don't talk. It is all up to him.

I have had Sunny Bird for just seven months and it has been the longest seven months of my life. He has tested every nerve in my body, every promise from my heart, and every dream within my head. He has turned family members against one another, and isolated me completely from others. There are those that will not step foot in my home because of "THAT BIRD". The day I brought him home I made a commitment to him and to myself, and I will not give up on either of us.

After crying my way through your site, I have to wonder if I have done him an injustice. Have I really helped him, or is there someone that could do it better? Yes, he is still alive, and looks like a Cockatoo now, but is that enough? For the first time I am questioning, not only his happiness, but my decision to bring him home to start with. While I have had visions of someday sitting with him cuddling in my lap telling the grandkids to be careful with Sunny Bird, your site has slapped me in the face with reality. The reality that Sunny may never be the "dream bird" I was starting to hope for. In these few months I have come to love him with all my heart. But now see, thanks to you, that he is a wild being and always will be. Though I do love your site, it has caused me a great deal of debate within myself. Rarely have I ever second guessed myself, but then I never tried to befriend a Cockatoo before.
God speed to you,
Dianne


FromGreg Ruff....
"Jerry,  I have only one problem with your web site - - you're not harsh enough!!"

 

Jerry, I'm unprepared to even begin to express my thoughts and concerns after reading your website. However, the visceral reaction that your site elicited compels me to begin to try. I finally, after 10 years of struggle, had to have my Moluccan euthanized two weeks ago after the vet reported to me that he had "another" life threatening problem that once again could not be clearly diagnosed, but potentially could be solved by another experimental procedure that might help, and (once again) would require "constant monitoring" for the rest of his "life". I simply could not support the continued torture of what I had come to know as a companion with an intellect that not only suffered the indignity of being handled by those who were just beyond blood-letting to cure his ills, but who was supposed to be handicapped (by wing trimming) to insure his "docile behavior". I can assure you that if you cut the "normal" human off at the knees, they'll be very docile as well (La Cosa Nostra discovered this more than a century ago).

I have read and analyzed the information available on Moluccans until I'm almost blind from interpreting the "philosophical, physiological, psychological and behavioral" justifications for the problems of these majestic birds in captivity, and, quite frankly, am amazed by the levels of ignorance that supposed professionals are willing to call "science" or even "insight". The very idea that we should be breeding "pet" cockatoos appalls me. What next? If you have the time and the swimming pool big enough, a pet whale can be a very rewarding experience? Save the Moluccan, breed them in captivity? Let's try "save the Moluccan, preserve their natural habitat and if you want to relate to one, read and travel.

We have to stop this ridiculous abuse of the rest of the "non-human" species on earth that seems to imply that if they can't curse us out in objection to our subjugation, we ought to make them pets.

Jerry, I have only one problem with your web site - - you're not harsh enough!! These majestic creatures were never meant to be domesticated. They, on rare occasions, find a degree of symbiosis with human hosts. But only the Human Species, with it's supreme ego, would have the audacity to believe that perhaps it could find a way to adapt the rest of the animal world to a fulfilling existence as house pets. And certainly, only Homo Sapiens would be able to justify the needed sacrifice on the part of another species to be a "good companion" for someone who should be looking somewhere else for companionship!!!
 

Greg Ruff
 
 



From Kathy....

I applaud your website and wish I had seen it before I had purchased Kashmir, my male Mollucan. I could have learned much about what I was in for before the struggle began. He was 9 when I bought him through an ad in the paper. I was owner number 4 and new to the parrot kingdom. He screamed constantly, lunged at anything that moved, bit me at every opportunity, and gave me the only black eye I have ever had in my life! Fortunately for Kashmir and myself, I found Robert 'TUT' Barrett, a bird behaviorist, through my avian vet, Dr.Teresa Lightfoot. I can't say Kashmir is the model cockatoo, but he is close. Yes, after three years with me, he still screams like a banshee from hell, and far more often than twice a day, if I am home. Yes, the screaming can last much longer than five minutes of typical vocalization. But I have learned to be patient, to ask him to talk in his little voice if he wants me, and as time has gone by, he calls out 'hello', ' I love you', 'Come here', more than he screams. The biting stopped a little over a year ago, when I learned to stand my ground and be alpha bird. His life is very consistent, which seems to be his preference. I am single and work all day, five days a week, so we spend an hour and a half together every day, seven days a week, doing chores or just preening him - same time of day, no exceptions(his rule, not mine)! At 13, he is a large, healthy, completely feathered male, occasionally hormonal, always exuberant, very very patient and accepting of little neighbors' hands when they reach out and pet too strenuously or move too quickly (something he will not accept from adults), and always ready to entertain. He is at times the bane of my existence with his relentless demands, but also the love of my life. And no, he is not an only child. I have six cats (all dumped on my doorstep over the years), a pennant rosella, two cockatiels, and a peachfront conure (with an attitude, a gift of gab, and a penchant for tormenting large pink foofy birds). All that aside, I agree with you wholeheartedly, that these birds are not pets. They are too intelligent, too emotional and too willful for a household. My greatest fear is that there will be no room at a sanctuary when I am too old and feeble to care for him. I am 48. He will outlive me by so many, many years. I would love to help you with your mission to educate the public, to provide sanctuary for unwanted or neglected or abused birds, to push for legislation that would inhibit the sale of unweaned babies, and even go so far as to prohibit future sales of Mollucans period. Just don't ask me to give him up until I can no longer lug his two pound body around. It would kill both of us, and I'm not sure which of us would die first. He has a stable life for the first time in a long time, and it has changed him so much. He has taught me much about patience, acceptance and true devotion - tough love, as they say. Let me know where to start, and I will add my voice to yours. I might add that Tut Barrett and I have talked for three years about the need for a rescue/sanctuary in the Tampa/Florida area. He has received no less than 30 parrots himself over the past 3 years from owners who just 'couldn't take it any more'. One Mollucan, three umbrellas, and one Lesser Sulfur Crested were among the 'castaways'. Let me know!

Kathy Wykoff
Largo, Florida 


From Briana & Andrew

 Just want to say...we were bantering happily about "What if we got a sulfer-crested someday? Or a big Umbrella?"  Even my small experience working at vets and growing up on a farm didn't provide the knowledge we received when stumbling across your site...We just sat for two hours and cried and read and were in awe...You have opened our eyes, not only to the plight of birds in general but to larger issues.We already were concerned for the welfare of animals, environment etc...But something about your site has awakened us to a deeper understanding.We have agreed to volunteer a portion of our crazy lives to the local bird sanctuary and will NEVER own a bird again. (I once had the company of a beautiful lutino cockatiel.)We can't thank you enough.  Please keep up the good work.

Briana & Andrew
 



 
 

This is a very interesting website. I am a firm believer that no one should own or breed any large parrot. Regardless of the breed. I have four parrots in my household ranging in size. The largest one is a rescued Moluccan Cockatoo (we did know what we where getting into). He is now 7 years old and at the most hideous of fazes of is poor captive life. When we are not home he lives in a cage the size of most peoples dining rooms. He is left along at most 3 hours per day, which in his mind is to long! Youare correct when you state Moluccans need to be with you all the time. They are a flock or paired bird, we as humans are still loners. I think this is the big issue with most people. They don't understand what flock or paired means (group of, travel together, more then one, never alone). Apricot sits on my shoulder, arm or the nearest perch depending on the room I am in. Because he has come to live with us, we can no longer travel (he won't eat when we are gone), our friends don't like to come over (he screams at them to leave, they are not part of his flock), he must eat in a community (with us), I am his mate, my husband is a parent, and my daughter is a sibling (one to be gotten rid of). My husband and I have willed him to a large parrot foundation when we both pass away (knowing that he will out live us).

He is what I think of as a child for life! My life! Not his. For he will live beyond me and will not understand why I have left him or where I have gone. He loves me with all his heart and will not leave my side and if given the opportunity, defend me to the death (his). Any of you who have a Moluccan who has bounded and is sexually mature know what I am talking about. He brings great joy to our life's with his clowning around and singing. He is loud yes, at night when the flock is called back to their sleeping place. He does that job well and we come to him every night with our calls of good night and sleep well. He then goes to his place and settles in for a good nights sleep. He is interested in the things around him. He has taught us a greater patience about life and how it should be lived. We are glad to have him in our life's and would not change the decision we made two years ago when we took him in. Keep up the good work. Any of you who may read this note! Understand that God made all of us to live out our destiny in the environment we were born to, not what man decides for us! We don't own the world as Darwin or his kind believed. We are here to protect it, so it will be here for the future of many!
 
 



~Rebecca Bairley~

Just found your site and read with great interest your opinions, and those of so many others. I did have an idea of what I was in for when I adopted a U2 a little over a year ago, but your site doesn't pull any punches, or skirt around the issues.

I have two other birds that were purchased as babies, a sweet lutino cockatiel (who started it all), a quaker who believes he is probably a cockatoo, and Willie. We are Willie's third and final home. His first home had five young children and of course they quickly realized that they had taken on too much. His next family kept him until their jobs kept them away from home untillate in the evening. Willie expressed his displeasure by screaming when they were home. We had met Willie a few times and knew that he was a sweet, loving bird. When his second family called and asked if we would take him we were sure they would ask us to return him after a few days.
But they have seemed satisfied to know that Willie is happy (and only doing normal cockatoo screaming) and we are happy.

Although we are happy that Willie lives with us, and I feel that Willie is happy, I no longer believe that large parrots should be kept as pets, or companion animals. I will never again purchase a baby bird.

I am not middle aged, yet I am already making arrangements for Willie, so that when and if I am unable to care for him, he will be placed in a suitable home. I would like to see bird breeding regulated and limited. I know that even the most reputable, caring breeders cannot assure their birds a safe and loving home.

I am thrilled every day by the companionship of my birds. But if I could give Willie the life of a wild cockatoo, I would. I have never seen him fly, or attempt to fly. I doubt that he has ever heard the call of another of his kind. He has not known neglect or any intentional kind of cruelty, but no matter how well he is treated he is not living the life he was meant too. There is always a sense of loss and sadness inside when I see him.

Thank you for your honest and forthright message. I hope that more people will read it, and take it to heart.

Rebecca Bairley, Michigan



Folks, if you dont experience this "sense of loss
and sadness" then you dont really understand
your bird at all.

If however you do,  God bless you



Dear Sir, I feel saddened to hear so many disappointed cockatoo owners. I agee that owning a large parrot is a huge undertaking and that pet stores/breeders don't give prospective parrot owners the "full scoop". I think that it's wise to "start small" - with a parakeet/love bird - and if all goes reasonably well, work your way up - if you still wish. I started with several parakeets as a child, then a Yellow Nape Amazon in my late teens/early 20's and now my beloved Moluccan Cockatoo. He is the most gentlest, loving bird I have EVER handle. We call him the gentle giant. His size alone can be intimidating, but he has a history of being very gentle, even with children. That was the driving force behind me selecting this bird. I always wanted a large parot - one with which I could really interact. Before purchasing this $1,600 bird I knew that they required attention - these birds are not for display. You don't simply tuck them away in a cage, otherwise, there is no point in having one. They need human interaction and attention. After having the bird for over 1 1/2 years, I think it has learned to understand the routines of my household and my family and I have learned to understand its personality and birdy routines, as well... and we are all still learning about each other. I learned that the bird is less noisier now because we give it some attention each day...not just from 1 person, but from all family members. It seems to do extremely well under these conditions. It actually seems to enjoy the rides on the childrens' shoulders...or they pets and words of praises...which have become more frequent. It has learned that we do not like nor permit loud, continued screaming. Expected birdly loudness is a given, but we are not promoting an environment of scream whenever you like and as loud as you like. A stern look, a pointed finger and the occasion "No!" or "Quiet!" loud retort usually does the trick. Also, on rare occasions, I cover the cage and that always works! However, most times, schedule permitting, a little extra attention to the bird does result in quietinb and calming his demeanor. He's definitely a child, a child who loves companion- ship and to play. When he ruffles his gorgeous apricot-white plummage for all to see, it's hard not to! A character-and-a-half he is. I couldn't imagine life without him...he's made our household more of a home.

I admit it's not a breeze owning a big bird. There's clean-up duty - a large cage does take time to clean, and big bird means more dust and dunder, however, I find it much easier to care for than a dog (being a former dog owner). When our family goes away, the reliable pet shop does board him for only $5.00 a day. It appears they really look forward to when my family and I go away - because they can enjoy our bird for a little while. He doesn't stay caged, but accompanies them on their daily dog grooming chores - watching from his T-stand. Would I do it all over again - pick a large Cockatoo as I did? Of course! Although I do agree that it is definitely not for everyone, however, I've been a real bird lover right from childhood. Owning small birds was a great start...even the little ones can have quite a personality. So, it depends on one's lifestyle, available time, threshold for noise, finances and "gut instinct". When I saw my cockatoo in the store when I bought him...I couldn't help feeling that this was the right bird for me and my family...and (fortunately) I was right! Future bird owners, please research as much as (I did) and take your time picking your long-term pet. The decision should not be made lightly, nor on impulse. I visited my potential parot several times and handled him each time before making the purchase. My children came with me...I was looking for a "permanent" parrot...one who would stay. Don't give up on your quest and take your time. It took me over 5 years to find my cockatoo treasure...

Vesna Arther


From Gregory...

Hello I found your link through AOL. It is quite an honest site, and bold. Let me tell you about my history. In a week I will be 41 years old. I have had birds since I was 7 years old. I was raised in a family where my parents were animal lovers. We had horses, cats and dogs and various other things that entered our household. My mother was someone who would pick up a snake when we walked in the woods and say hello to it. She would then set it down and let it go on it's way. As a teenager, back in the 70's I began to read about parrots and learned that people could actually breed the large species. I knew that parrots were vanishing in the wild, and about the problems with smuggling and importation,and my goal was to breed large parrots. I thought of it as an exciting, noble challenge. I thought that I would supply animal lovers with pets, lesson the demand on smuggling, and protect the birds through domestic propagation. It was a long time before I had the money to set up pairs of the large parrots. At this time, imports were still legal, but after I read about the import business I decided to spend three times the money to buy domestic stock so that I did not affect birds in the wild.

Well, to make a long story short, I have bred Lesser sulfur crest and a whole lot of moluccan babies, as well as a bunch of smaller species. The one thing I did not consider is that most people are not like my wife and myself. In other words: Most people are not willing to put up with the mess, and the noise, and the other factors that go into large parrot ownership. Today I have conflicted emotions, I am glad that I am breeding an endangered species, but what are the people like, that obtain my babies is a constant worry to me. Most people don't have the patience that I have with my "kids". When I talk to prospective owners of my babies, the first thing I do is try to talk them out of their purchase. I tell them all of the downsides of owning a cockatoo. Recently I have heard of all the problems people have with moluccan cockatoos, and about the great numbers that wind up in rescues. Personally, I have 3 moluccan pets, I don't really have a lot of problems with them, but I HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE WITH PARROTS BEFORE I EVER OWNED A MOLUCCAN. I have to say, I am depressed with the situation. I waited close to 20 years after I first heard about breeding large parrots before I started to set up pairs for breeding. I had success, and then the one thing I didn't consider came up. It was the inability of the new owners to deal with the birds. Well, I am venting, I do appreciate your site. Do you mind if I reproduce it, with credit, in an attempt to educate others? I would appreciate it. By the way, I said that I have had birds since I was 7 years old, I bought my first cockatoo, one who had gone from home to home for years in 1979. I still have him, his name is Brisbaine, hence my screen name. He is a fine Greater sulfur crest. He was abused through ignorance, not meanness, and it took a long time to make him comfortable (It actually took a lot of effort), but today he is the light of my life (Right along with my wife) although sometimes my wife thinks I love my cockatoos more. Thanks for the honest website. I try to do my best to educate potential parrot owners of the problems, I think your site does a real good job of it. I will send people to it. I think one problem is that some people are "animal people" and some are not.

Regards,
Gregory Alan Schultz
 



 

I just had to write as many have before me to reiterate how informative and realistic your site is. I have three cockatoos, an Umbrella male who is my my closest friend, a Moluccan (so far is the kindest sweetest creature, I have ever been around) and a Greater Sulphur Crested female who is a handful. There is not a petshop around here who wants to see me coming as I know the truth in raising and caring for these magnificent birds. I can not think of one person that I know that could handle this responsibility (financial, time, patience, etc.) I have learned the hard way and have not given up. I agree now that these birds should no longer be bred for the "pet bird" träde as now we know they are not pets nor should they be considered so. However I can not imagine life without them in mine and for the few of us who have working relationships with our "Toos, I am sure they feel the same. I pray everyday that I awake with some great revelation on how to make this situation we humans have created, better.  Obviously your revelation has come, Keep up the good work!

Wooddrop
 


FROM WENDY

I have been meaning to write for quite a while now. I also appreciate your website. I would strongly tell anyone that sold Cockatoo's that they must tell their potential buyer that it is mandatory to study your website before they are allowed to buy one. Then they should administer a test to make sure they have carefully studied thoroughly. If a person can't take the time to read your website, and they don't feel they should have to take a test, then they should not buy a Cockatoo. Everything in your website is true and to the point. You have an awesome way of educating people about the truth when it comes to these birds.

Let me tell you how my husband and I ended up getting our Cockatoo, We went on Friday evening to pet store just to buy a bird book and a Moluccan Cockatoo jumped on my husbands shoulder. He was impressed. The bird would not leave him alone. The employee of the store told us a little about the birds history. They had just sold him to a single mother with a 4 year old the day before who lived in an apartment complex. The bird screamed all night. She said he even acted really upset about something. Plus all the neighbor's complained and management told her she had to get rid of the bird or move out. She brought the bird back to pet store and they wouldn't issue her a refund. She paid $1200.00 on her credit card. They told her they would resell the bird for her and when the bird was sold they would give her the money. My husband called this woman on the phone. I know she had a heart for the bird. She just didn't know what she was getting into. And the pet store knew nothing about the bird. They just wanted the quick cash. They didn't care who they sold it to, they didn't even know what kind of a bird it was when my husband and I asked. We asked how old the bird was and they lied to us, they told us 8 years old and told this other woman that he was 6 years old. Anyhow, we ended up telling the lady that we would try having the bird for the week-end and if all went well we would buy it from her. She was so happy she said that she would even be content with us giving her $800.00

That night my husband and I spent all night till 3am looking up to try and find out what kind of bird we even had. We discovered it was no doubt a Moluccan Cockatoo. We spent all week-end on the Internet getting as much information as we could about this kind of bird. I am so thankful I came to your website. Previous to this last owner having him for one night, he had also been passed around to a few other owners in only the past few months. While reading your website I became quite aware of what we would be getting into. I even cried like I haven't in years when I found out what these birds have gone through and what they go through. My husband got very angry when he read some of the stories. It was your website that made a difference in the care of our new family member we call "MaLuka". We both knew we had the resources, the patience and love for this bird. We weren't going to put him through anymore than what he has already been through.. For one, my husband and I can't have children, so I knew that there was nothing to worry about there. We have no cats and only 1 dog. He is a medium size yellow lab that lets the bird run the house. We have learned in the past 3 months a great deal. My husband and I made a commitment to the bird and to each other that we were in this for life. He would never again move from house to house and only eat peanuts.

We went right out and bought him the biggest cage we could find. Not Cheap!! The poor thing was living in this small cage that he could hardly get into. We also bought him many toys. We cook for him everyday, and I even made the recipe you suggested. My bird loved it. The pet store told us that they only fed him peanuts. Poor MaLuka..... because he loves fruits, veggies, chicken, and for some reason loves ravioli as well as many other foods. We also bought three books to gain more knowledge about these birds.

The following Monday we took him to our local avian vet. They gave him a clean bill of health. We have only been parents to this Moluccan for 3 months and I can tell you now that they do demand lots of attention. My husband and I are both animal lovers all the way around, and even sometimes we can get frustrated. But, like I said we made a commitment and we will stick by this bird through whatever it takes. Just to give you some ideas, my husband said we may as well shut the satellite off to the TV. We can't really watch it at all anymore. We have re-arranged our house just on account of this bird so that he can sleep for 10 to 12 hours a night. Now the TV is in a spare bedroom, not in the living room. He sleeps quiet all night, but the minute he hears that your up he whistles for a few seconds and if that doesn't get your attention he screams to let us know he hears us loud and clear. My husband works full-time while I am just a full time student at college. I have even set up my classes around this bird so that he is not home for any long length of time by himself. 4 hours max. Maybe twice he has gone 6 hours. I have some classes at night so my husband will be home with him. Two days a week I have classes during the day from 9:30am to 4:00pm with a 2 hour break in the middle. I drive home from school (20 miles one way) to feed him lunch, let him play on his swing that is hanging in the middle of our living room, and give him some cuddles. At night when my husband gets home he expects the same from him. He has put holes in our two couches from just looking away to answer the phone. It's our fault the holes are there and not the birds. He is only doing what comes natural to him. When he hears water he has to be right there with you. When I do dishes he has to sit on the counter and watch. In the shower he has to hang out on the curtain rod. (He gets right in with my husband, but not me). After dishes are done and cleaned up about once a week or so he expects to be showered down with a spray bottle. Oh, he loves it. Then I have to blow dry him because he loves that too. While doing my homework every hour, (I have gone two hours), but I have to stop and play with him a while or he lets out a flock call (I think). So we play a game we call "sock" on the couch. We throw it to one end and he hops over and throws it back to me. We have to go back and forth for about 20 minutes. Then he decides he needs more cuddles. He is a full-time job. But, I can tell that he is a very happy and content bird.

As a woman I have had a harder time dealing with him than my husband has. He really trys to dominate me sometimes, to the point where I have to get a perch and put him on that to transport him to his cage. He has destroyed all the locks on both cages. The little one and the big one. We have had to resort to pad locks. It's inevitable that you WILL get bit by these birds especially when they are excited. I have been bit many times and my husband has too, but not as many as me. We have learned as time has passed. We now know when he getting ready to bite. So we don't get bit much anymore. These are not birds for anyone if they have children. Buy a cockatiel. If someone does get these birds they must be devoted for life. We have already set up a caretaker for this bird if something should happen to me and my husband.

These birds are like children with special needs. They must be taken care of constantly and not ignored. They need to be an active part of your life - everyday. Three times my husband has made him a gym to play on with toys hanging from it. But, he just gets a great thrill out of destroying them. So he just keeps making new things for him. Toys for these birds are not cheap. About $50 per toy if you want it to last for a week or two. But, they always need something to do.

He loves to go outside, but he won't let us put a bird leash around him. And we don't want to risk anything happening to him even though his wings are clipped. The pet store assured us that with time a persistence we could get that leash on him, but that was just not the case. We will never go back to the pet store where we originally got the bird. We don't recommend them either. It's clear that all they want is to make a sale and that they don't care about the well-being of their birds.

I spent days researching his ID band on his leg. I found out through the USDA that he was imported here to the U.S. in July of 1987. So he is at least 15 years old. We love MaLuka as if he were our child. We would love to build him a big fun aviary outside so that he could play during the day. But, that is not possible at this point. He has already withdrew most of our savings. Our whole lives have changed since getting this bird. If anyone thinks about getting a Cockatoo they should beware. They can be very loud, demanding, expensive, and you MUST be in it for life. You have to promise to LOVE the bird no matter what the situation is or what you are going through. I worked at a animal shelter for sometime so I always knew that animals were important. But, the M2 is very special and important. They needed to be treated tenderly at all times. They have real emotions and feelings. Oh, and one more thing. I pray for my bird everyday. I ask God everyday to keep him healthy and happy and I ask God to give me the wisdom on how I should deal with the bird. I will be devastated if he ever starts to feather pluck. But, I would have to deal with it if it came up. But, everyone should pray for their bird, as they would their children, if they believe in prayer.

I am sorry I went on for so long. I know you have a real heart for these birds and I wanted to tell you the story of how we ended up getting ours. The pet store didn't even have a name for the bird. I know if we hadn't rescued him that eventually he would have gotten really depressed. We have given him a good home. Some people feel we spoil him, but they just don't understand the Moluccan Cockatoo.

Keep up the good work with you website !!!!! I admire your honesty and devotion. I even have it listed under my favorites and refer to it often Thanks for all your helpful information.

Wendy