Species group: Cockatoos
Other common names: Bare-eyed Cockatoo; Short-billed Corella; Blood Stained Corella
Scientific name: Cacatua sanguinea
At least one expert ranked the Little Corella as the most intelligent of the cockatoos, which is high praise indeed, considering the competition. Too often overlooked in favor of the conventional beauties, this 'too can make an excellent pet for the experienced parrot owner who understands how to set limits. Their voice may not win any prizes, but they can develop a surprisingly large vocabulary, and they may be the best talker in the cockatoo group.
Warning: Cockatoos are powder down birds, and you should not obtain a Little Corella if anyone in the home suffers from allergies or asthma. Most of them are capable of extremely loud contact calls, or early morning “wake-up calls,” and it is also strongly recommended against choosing any cockatoo if you live in an apartment or have nearby neighbors.
There are five subspecies of the highly successful Little Corella, found in Australia and surrounding islands, as well as in southern New Guinea. It has been introduced to the Australian island of Tasmania and other areas outside its traditional range. It takes advantage of agricultural crops, and its wild population may actually be expanding. Huge flocks containing 50,000 birds or even more may forage together.
The Little Corella, often called the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo by American pet owners, is a comical-looking mid-sized cockatoo with a short bill, small crest, and baggy, saggy eyes.
350 - 530 grams (12 - 19 oz.)
38 centimeters (15 in.)
Behavior / temperament:
The Little Corella is beloved for its personality, rather than its looks. They love their special people, they love attention, and they love to play. Their vocal nature can be channeled into learning to speak, which is always a bonus with a potentially noisy bird. That said, they are still cockatoos, and you should educate yourself to head off any potential problems. Don't fall into the trap of cuddling the baby 'too for hours, when you will not be able to continue that cuddling for the next 50 years. Set sensible limits, and teach your pet from the beginning how to enjoy toys and independent play.
The big concerns are incessant screaming, feather-plucking, and aggressive biting, especially from a hormonal adult male. Contact a parrot behaviorist ASAP if you have any questions or problems. Cockatoos are probably more often given up for rescue or rehoming than any other bird. Don't be a statistic. These birds are sharp. There's no shame in acquiring a little advanced education so that you can keep up with them.
The Little Corella is not considered as “chewy” as many cockatoos, but don't be fooled. They can chew or lock-pick their way out of an ineffective cage in a surprisingly short period of time. Provide a powder-coated metal cage of at least 36” wide by 24” deep by 36” high with no more than 1” bar spacing. Please keep the cage well-supplied with disposable toys that can be chewed to destruction. Have sturdy manzanita perches in areas where you don't want to have to change the perches frequently, but also supply plenty of natural, bird-safe wood perches from unsprayed trees that your pet can chew to its heart's content.
The Little Corella is one of those cockatoo species that is highly respected – even feared – as an escape artist. Many of these birds can open their own cage doors, so they are only humoring you by staying inside unless you use padlocks to secure the doors and windows. You have been warned.
Teach your Little Corella to step on an arm or hand-held perch on command, so that you can easily bring the bird to a play gym. Have more toys and chew items in the play space. It may sound a little counter-intuitive, but a highly intelligent cockatoo does not always understand what a toy is for, until you demonstrate by playing with the toy yourself. Remember, the more intelligent the pet, the more it learns from being taught, rather than just going by pure instinct.
If you have an older, aggressive male, it is particularly important to keep the play gym and cage at waist height. A bird perched at shoulder or head height may hop aboard your shoulder before you give permission. Of course, this behavior seems cute when your pet is younger, but it's best to teach him to hop on your arm, not your shoulder – and, preferably, after you give the request.
Well-socialized, properly weaned Little Corellas require a varied diet that isn't too high in fat, carbs, or simple sugars. You may offer a small seed mix, but limit access to high fat larger seeds such as sunflower. The core of the diet should be a good cockatoo pellet or a high quality commercial or homemade “soak and cook” mix that contains well-cooked beans, grains, and vegetables, as well as well-sprouted seed. Learn how to make a chopped salad containing lots of vegetables and greens, as well as some fruit. If you suspect that your bird is a little too hyper and getting too much sugar, then you can hold back the fruit for trick training, foraging games, or to offer by hand as part of a bonding exercise.
Some Little Corellas are described as picky eaters. If your pet doesn't know that an item is food, it may waste or throw the item. Demonstrate that a new food, such as a new fruit, is good to eat by eating some yourself in front of the bird.
Never feed avocado or chocolate to any cockatoo. These foods are toxic to all parrots.
Written by Elaine Radford
smart, wonderful pets, real sweetheart, unique cockatoos, adorable creatures, great fun
feather abusive behaviours, seasonal aggress, hormone shifts
Blood Stained Corella, decent talkers, clipped wings, positive reinforcement
Owning a Corella - my experience
Imagine spending the next 30 to 40 years with a noisy, demanding, needy, hyperactive, but very loving and friendly creature with attention deficit disorder. THAT's what it's like to own a Corella. They're known as the clowns of the parrot world and they certainly love to play. They love noise (particularly if they're creating it) and they love people. If you're thinking of getting a Corella, consider this: you need to allow for a couple of hours every day for the next 30 to 40 years to keep your Corella happy. Do you have that time? If you have, then the rewards are enormous. Corellas are great fun. They're not the kind of bird to sit quietly on your shoulder while you read a book. They have to do SOMETHING, so if you don't play with them, they'll find something to destroy.
I have a 9-yr old Corella called Milo. I spent a lot of time in the first two years of his life handling him (he was very nervous when I first got him and wouldn't let anyone touch him for months) and getting his confidence up. Also, I worked hard at getting a fixed routine so that he learnt there were set times when he got full on attention and playtime. There was a lot of noise in those first few years (a warning for new parrot owners, they can drive you crazy!) But now, everything is perfect. He shares a bedroom (converted to a bird room!) with 2 lorikeets and has 1/2 hour play in the morning and at least an hour in the evening (I work in the day). He really is a joy and is always happy. I'm not interested in getting a parrot to talk or do tricks (although I did teach him to wave), but it seems that they are good learners.
Before getting a Corella, I did a bit of research on their character and found that they can be aggressive (the males are aggressive in the wild to their mating female), but if you give them a LOT of attention and put strict rules in place, then they become adorable creatures. This is one reason why I wouldn't recommend Corellas for children.
Sometimes I think to myself. I've another 30 years of playing peek-a-boo behind the curtain and being an all-purpose amusement arcade for a parrot, am I going to go mad? Well, to be honest, you need to be a bit mad to own a parrot in the first place, so I guess that's okay.
If you're interested in hearing more about Milo, check out this blog post I did ages ago: "On being deaf in one ear and owning a parrot" http://animallamina.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/on-being-deaf-in-one-ear-and-owning-a-parrot/
Thanks for reading.
From Liz Jan 22 2012 3:49PM
My Little Corella took my spot as the loudest and chattiest family member!
When I moved out of home recently, one pet I was glad was staying at my parents’ house was the Little Corella, also known as Short-Billed Corella, or Blood-Strained Cockatoo.
Winston is a VERY INTELLIGENT bird and very quickly took my place was the most out spoken, chatty and loudest family member. We received him at such a young age that he was still being hand fed, the way his mother would feed him. Have you ever heard those cute little baby birds outside chirping out eagerly for their feed? Beautiful isn't it? Well not when it is in your living room! The best way I can describe what having a very young Little Corella is like is to liken it to having a very hungry crying baby. Winston quickly learnt his feeding schedule, and so would scream out for food the moment his body clock ticked over to this time. For the first couple of months, he was unable to actually articulate words, but this never stopped him from trying, VERY LOUDLY. Now, even though still very young, he has learnt a significant amount of words and phrases; enough to have the same level of conversation with him as you could with a three year old child.
These birds’ characteristics at this age actually bare remarkable similarities to that of a small child, especially his ability to throw tantrums. For example when it comes to his bedtime at 7:30pm sharp, if there is still noise or something preventing him from sleeping he will squawk at the top of his little lungs, making it impossible to watch television, have a conversation, or concentrate on anything.
This being said, as with any human child, Winston can be completely and utterly delightful and adorable. He greets everyone that enters the house and then greets them again if they come over to his cage. He absolutely loves nothing more than to be patted and will nuzzle into you, pleading for the loving touch of his human, the same way a dog or cat would. Very often he will flip over onto his back to have his belly scratched. These birds can provide very close and loving companions for people willing to put in the time and commitment.
Birds like Winston can live a long time, longer that cats or dogs; for 20 years or more. Therefore having a Little Corella is a lifetime commitment; a child receiving one can often still be accompanied by their beloved bird well into their adulthood. This is definitely something to consider when looking at getting a bird like this. Something else to consider and something that I would highly recommend is to look into ways to properly training the birds and perhaps even professional training as an untrained bird would yell and scream a lot more than Winston who has had some minor training. A Little Corella can potentially be an excellent long-time friend for the right person, and this person is someone who understands the time and commitment involved in owning a large, intelligent and long-living bird such as this..
From laraellen91 Apr 8 2015 6:14AM