Do cockatoos like more than one person?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

Cockatoos, like many parrot species, have the potential to form strong bonds with multiple people. However, it is important to note that they are also prone to becoming one-person birds if they are kept in captivity without the presence of other cockatoos or suitable companions.

In my experience working with cockatoos, I have witnessed both cases where these birds have formed bonds with more than one person and cases where they have favored only one individual in the household. The key factor that determines whether a cockatoo will bond with multiple people is the socialization and interaction it receives from a young age.

When a cockatoo is properly socialized and exposed to various individuals, it has a higher likelihood of developing a bond with more than one person. This can be achieved through regular handling, positive interactions, and exposure to different family members or friends. By providing a diverse social environment, cockatoos can learn to trust and bond with multiple individuals, which can greatly enrich their lives and prevent them from becoming overly dependent on just one person.

On the other hand, if a cockatoo is isolated or lacks socialization during its early development, it may become strongly bonded to a single person. This is often the case in situations where the bird has been raised by only one caregiver or has limited exposure to other people. In such cases, the cockatoo may exhibit possessive and territorial behavior towards its preferred person, and may even show aggression towards others who try to interact with it.

It is important to remember that each cockatoo is an individual with its own unique personality and preferences. While some cockatoos may naturally have a more sociable and outgoing nature, others may be more inclined to form a close bond with just one person. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the bird’s caregiver to provide proper socialization and ensure that the bird’s needs for social interaction are met.

Here are some tips for fostering a cockatoo’s ability to bond with more than one person:

1. Early socialization: When acquiring a young cockatoo, make sure it is exposed to different people and experiences from an early age. This can help the bird develop a broader comfort zone and increase its likelihood of forming bonds with multiple individuals.

2. Regular handling and positive interactions: Spend time interacting with the cockatoo on a daily basis, offering treats, toys, and engaging in activities that the bird enjoys. This will help build trust and create positive associations with different people.

3. Involve other family members: Encourage other family members or friends to interact with the cockatoo regularly. This can be done by having them offer treats, engage in play sessions, or participate in training activities. Gradually, the cockatoo will become more comfortable and accepting of other people’s presence.

4. Respect boundaries: It’s important to respect the cockatoo’s individual preferences and boundaries. Some birds may naturally gravitate towards specific individuals, and forcing interactions with others may cause stress or anxiety. Allow the bird to choose who it feels comfortable with, while still providing opportunities for socialization with others.

5. Provide a stimulating environment: Enrich the cockatoo’s environment with toys, puzzles, and activities that promote mental and physical stimulation. This can help keep the bird engaged and prevent it from becoming overly fixated on one person.

By following these guidelines and providing a well-rounded social environment, it is possible to foster a cockatoo’s ability to bond with more than one person. However, it is important to remember that individual birds may still have their own preferences and may naturally gravitate towards certain individuals. The goal is to ensure that the cockatoo feels comfortable and secure in its social interactions, whether it forms a bond with one person or multiple individuals.