Posted Jun 08, 2015
Curly is a bird I've worked with for several years now. I love him to death, though he's different than I'd expected.
He's a goofball. He often likes to dance, bounce up and down on your hand, or be a "lunchbox" - to swing upside down on your hand. He loves looking at himself in a mirror, and he's easily spooked - he's afraid of pictures of other cockatoos, and the vaccuum being in the same room as him.
He also switches moods a lot. He'll be happy and playful one minute, and then lunging out to bite you the next. He's a slightly picky eater, and any food he doesn't want to eat, he'll throw - no matter if he's in his cage, sitting on your hand, or on his tea stand.
His wings and claws grow back insanely fast. He was in his outdoor enclosure, and while transporting him back inside, he got spooked and flew all the way to the woods in the back. We had to physically cut down the tree he was in in order to get him down - and the goof thought it was all a great game.
The crucial thing about Curly is being comfortable around him - when he gets grumpy, or spooked, or won't get off your shoulder (which, while pictured in the attached photo, is not recommended), you have to know how to diffuse him without hurting him or being afraid. Generally, a few light taps (taps, not hits) on the beak before trying to pick him up again will get him to agree with you. Sometimes this process has to repeat itself several times - tap the beak, try to pick him up, repeat.
Cockatoos are fun, but not for anyone who is afraid of medium sized birds, or can't put in the time to take care of them.