The umbrella cockatoo certainly makes a charming, affectionate pet, but it’s not for everyone. This bird can be as fickle as the weather, playing one minute and screaming and nipping the next. Birds will be birds, with all of their quirks and caprices, and umbrellas are no exception, though the informed umbrella owner is fortunate to live with this extraordinary bird that was named after something ordinary — and indispensable.
The umbrella desires nothing more than to cuddle with the object of its desire, and can become overly attached to other birds or objects in the pet shop, leading to serious disappointment when these birds or objects are sold — these birds are extremely sentimental! In the wild, the umbrella is never without a companion, and the captive umbrella has the same instinctual patterning to bond to a mate, or at least to have a special friend. The best way to make an umbrella cockatoo unhappy is to keep it in isolation.
Speech & Sound
The noise level of this bird is extremely high. It is prone to bouts of loud screaming, especially if it is isolated, locked in a cage, or doesn’t get its way. Screaming is often a measure of the bird’s displeasure — the louder the more significant the disapproval of its circumstances. Many cockatoos are re-homed because of their superior voices. On the up side, the umbrella can be taught to talk and may acquire a vocabulary of more than 50 words, though most will not learn that many. Often, a bird that learns to talk may substitute screaming for talking — but not all of the time.
Health & Common Conditions
Umbrella cockatoos are prone to picking at or pulling out their feathers is not offered sufficient mental stimulation. Other diseases/conditions found in cockatoos include psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), fatty liver disease and obesity if fed a diet too high in fat.