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Cockatoo head bobbing

Nancy B

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I have had my 7 yr old male rose breasted cockatoo 1 week. For the past 20 years I have had a family of 5 lovebirds. Freddy is just starting to play and really react to us, has exhibits signs of being very playful and friendly. My lovebirds like to preen my son's hair. The cockatoo seems to like pulling his hair, then bombs (edit: op meant "bobs") his head and makes a sound that appears to be laughing! He did this after playing fetch with some paper roll rings that we made. Was he excited? That's what it looked like, and we all laughed because he's a character and it's hard not to! I have had him 7 days and couldn't give him up if I had to!
 
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cassiesdad

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The situations you describe seem to be indicating Freddy is getting excited when he head bobs. Being excited and happy is fine, but you have to be careful. 'Toos can become over-stimulated and, being 'toos, could lead to aggressive behavior and biting.

Milton (in avatar) loves playing fetch also...and he gets VERY excited doing it! The first few times I played with Milty, he didn't want me to stop...and when I did, he bit me. :(
I learned to monitor his body language and keep him away from my body parts when we're playing. Again, playing with Freddy is fine, just monitor him for jumps in his energy levels...
 

jmfleish

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The part that worries me is the bombing part and the noise made afterward. You never want a male Cockatoo coming after your head, ever! Trust me on this one! Male Galahs are known for this behavior right around that age too. I have two males at home and while they are small birds and have very small beaks compared to their white cousins, they can inflict an enormous amount of damage with a great deal of force.
 

Just-passn-thru

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The part that worries me is the bombing part and the noise made afterward. You never want a male Cockatoo coming after your head, ever! Trust me on this one! Male Galahs are known for this behavior right around that age too. I have two males at home and while they are small birds and have very small beaks compared to their white cousins, they can inflict an enormous amount of damage with a great deal of force.
Trust and take heed on this advice. It may seem fun and cute now. You only had him seven days! Be careful. Set you're limits now before thing's get out of control. In the future when bird is out socially with family, and starts getting overly excited, then it's time to calm him down . Put him back in his cage for some down time. You set the pattern and rules.
 

Nancy B

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Thank you ALL SO MUCH! We really love Freddy and want him to be healthy and happy here. I will tell Sam (my son) that he cannot play with Freddy the way he does the lovebirds, at least not yet. And I see what you mean when you say the over excitement is scarey. Right after that I shut the cage door and said "ok time for quiet" Lol he is scarey when that happens. Last night he handed me a paper ring through the cage bars. I sat close to the cage, my shoulder facing him, and read an article. My heart melted :) I will remember to leave our hair out of playtime. That could be dangerous. Especially before we know him!
 

Nancy B

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He does these things that are very cute, like already starting to give me things, and will call to me when I come home. I want to hug and kiss him but I know he would rip me apart hahahahaha! I talk to him softly and sometimes he chirps like he's talking. I showed him a video of a talking cockatoo and seemed very interested in that lol. He seems to like music.
 

jmfleish

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They are incredibly smart and love interaction, you just have to be careful not to over-excite them and get good at reading body language. You'll learn more as you get to know Freddy. They really are wonderful birds when they are behaving. When they are bad, they are really bad though! LOL!
 

Bokkapooh

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The head bobbing in a cockatoo usually means theyre getting excited about something. Not always a negative thing.

However, dive bombing should never be encouraged or allowed. You do not want your son or yourself to have permanent scar tissue to your face when he lands an extremely bad bite to the face. Or worse, you could lose eye sight if he bites an eye.
 

Nancy B

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I'm sorry sometimes auto correct puts words in that shouldn't be there. He's not out of his cage yet. He didn't dive bomb, he was head bobbing only. I open his cage door whenever I am with him. He hasn't come out yet, and I really don't want him out if I am not home.
 

cassiesdad

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I have no doubt as time goes by you and your family will become experts on Freddy's body language and to handle difficult situations. It's part of the lifetime educating that Freddy will be teaching to you...;)
 

Nancy B

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Oh yes, my son has already said Freddy is much smarter than he thought. My son enjoys giving him peanuts. Freddy threw one on the floor and my son went to get it. This repeated several times before he asked me why doesn't Freddy want the nut. I told Sam to look at himself! Freddy was teaching sam to fetch! Lol He was watching sam go get it, it's a game! Haha! I got a kick out of it but Sam didn't lol.
 

sunnysmom

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Fetch is one of my cockatoo's favorite games. I usually play it with him every morning. Cockatoos tend to be very playful. As was mentioned previously, you just have to watch if they get too excited. My cockatoo sometimes grabs fingers when we play. He doesn't do it on purpose but he gets so excited that instead of grabbing the toy or whatever we're playing with he nips your fingers instead.
 

Nancy B

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I have been sprinkling sliced plain almonds in their chopped salad. It's the one thing Freddy will dig for lol. And started putting healthy things on a stainless steel bird skewer hanging in his cage. Much more attractive they are when you turn them into a toy! He's another kid!
 

cassiesdad

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I have been sprinkling sliced plain almonds in their chopped salad. It's the one thing Freddy will dig for lol. And started putting healthy things on a stainless steel bird skewer hanging in his cage. Much more attractive they are when you turn them into a toy! He's another kid!
Excellent!
 

Nancy B

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Oh yes my husband says right now he has control of the whole house! The minute he chirps one of us runs lol. I'm running around making sure we always have healthy things to feed him, clean dishes and water. I'm the housekeeper lol. My son & husband have different ways of playing with him, and he knows this. My son fetches and my husband plays catch with paper rings. And the bird sticks to that with those two. Me he will do anything with. So I guess he sees me as mom. Lol its funny. When he chirps for me I answer him, but if I can't go to him I don't. I treat him like a child. He hasn't come out of the cage yet. Dying for that. I have a small ball & little tykes basketball hoop! Haha! I do things slow though. I just wanted to push a ball with him.
 

Nancy B

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Fetch is one of my cockatoo's favorite games. I usually play it with him every morning. Cockatoos tend to be very playful. As was mentioned previously, you just have to watch if they get too excited. My cockatoo sometimes grabs fingers when we play. He doesn't do it on purpose but he gets so excited that instead of grabbing the toy or whatever we're playing with he nips your fingers instead.
I just noticed a memorial plaque for Sunny in this thread, I'm sorry about your bird! It's difficult to lose even the smallest of pets. I lost the dad of my lovebirds, Rascal just after halloween. He was 16. I was so heartbroken but I wouldn't have Freddy if he was still here, and Freddy needed a good home, so it's bittersweet. Just had to mention when I saw it, so sorry again, about Sunny. :(
 
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