Moving can be stressful for most animals, but especially so for those of the feathered variety. Cockatoos are creatures of habit who sometimes have a tough time getting used to a new home. How you interact with your bird can help him feel more at home sooner rather than later.
Place your cockatoo’s cage in a relatively quiet room. While cockatoos thrive on attention and enjoy being in a room that family members frequent, it will take some time before your feathered friend is comfortable enough to welcome high levels of noise and activity in the house. If a relatively quiet room is not available, do your best to maintain a peaceful environment for at least the first week of your bird’s arrival.
Give your cockatoo a chance to settle in. As tempted as you may be to immediately start playing with your new feathered friend, he would be more at ease if you gave him some time and space in which to calmly explore his new surroundings. For at least a few hours after you bring him home for the first time, let your cockatoo hang out in his cage without distraction.
Give your cockatoo a chance to get used to your presence. Spend some time in close proximity of your feathered friend’s cage, but limit any direct interaction with him. Sit next to his cage while you read a book, watch television or engage in another favorite activity. Take notice of your bird’s body language. If he becomes very tense when you sit too close, move a bit further until he seems more comfortable with your presence.
Talk to your feathered friend. Use a soft and soothing tone of voice to say hello to your cockatoo and tell him what a pretty bird he is. You can try singing or whistling to him too. Always pay close attention to your feathered friend’s body language as you try to communicate with him so that you stay within his comfort zone.
Get to your cockatoo’s heart through his stomach. If he relates his environment with the opportunity to score some tasty treats, your feathered friend is more likely to feel comfortable in his new digs. Offer your bird something tasty to munch on, like sunflower seeds, fresh fruit or a crunchy peanut.
- Building a positive relationship with your bird is a process that takes time. Be patient with your cockatoo as you help him get used to his new home and the people he will share it with.
Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.