Secret No. 4 To A Happy Pet Cockatoo
Don’t underestimate a cockatoo’s intelligence.
One of the primary criteria for intelligence is an animal that attempts to deceive another animal. This behavior shows awareness that the animal understands that it can change another animal’s behavior. Many cockatoos can be very manipulative with the people in their lives, and we need to stay aware of these behaviors before our pet birds are running (or is it ruining?) our lives.
I call one of these cockatoo tricks “the magician.” This is when the pet cockatoo learns that all it has to do to get you to reappear is to scream as loud as it can … and this is loud! It is critical not to respond to negative behaviors with a drama reward. The more investment a cockatoo has in negative behaviors, the more it will continue, so ignore the pet bird or teach it a positive distraction behavior that enables you to give the pet bird enthusiastic praise.