Cockatoos are highly affectionate parrots and full of life. Cockatoo behavior is not much worrying matter mostly. With each year their love and attachment with the owner only grows with increased interaction with their owners. They are pleasing and love to amuse their owners with their singing and hyper actions; all they need in return is encouragement and praise. They have a beautiful crown over their heads and when they are happy and feeling vibrant, they show all their excitement by spreading their crown.
Cockatoos not only like to be praised verbally but once they are comfortable with the owner they want to be patted and hugged even.
The bad side of a Cockatoo behavior consists of screaming, disobeying the owner and having a silent, indifferent sort of attitude. If they are mishandled they are also very likely to bit or claw. Their bad side does not show commonly, it mainly depends on the type of treatment and amount of time they receive from their owners. If they are ignored, not interacted with and bored, then they are bound to get depressed and start to dislike their owners; they are not suitable pet for owners who do not have much spare time. These birds also have a screechy noise but with patient training the screaming can decrease and even be replaced with soft, pleasant whistling.
Cockatoos have a possessive behavior. They, like princesses or kings, own objects and places. Thus they may strongly feel possession over a certain food bowl or a certain area and object if another uses it.
Generally Cockatoos express their feelings with their crest; a raised crest shows that a Cockatoo is in search of its mate, defending its possession, excited, frightened, frustrated, depressed or simply at the peak of its emotions. At this stage it is suggested that the crest should not be touched. A lowered crest shows that the Cockatoo is calm, friendly and in a casual mood, this state can be made use by developing a relationship with the bird by showing affection and care.
It is common for people to think that if the bird has the ability to mimic sounds or talk then it is a highly intelligent bird, except that is not the case. Intelligence comprises of how sharp and quick or demanding a bird is, Cockatoo’s are one of the most intelligent parrots; they cannot speak extremely well but they can surely manipulate! Their intelligence is compared with that of toddlers, just like a toddler would scream because he knows then he will get what it wants, so will a Cockatoo, the bird has the ability to realize that its actions are producing a certain desired response. Cockatoo owners need to be careful to not fall prey to their bird’s creative mind, bad behavior should never be rewarded, and also never be punished, ignoring is appropriate.
Due to their intelligence they require owners that are giving and certainly not laid back. To keep fulfilling the demands of a Cockatoo behavior and mind set, owners need to play games, provide puzzle toys and amply socialize.
Not all Cockatoo’s are extremely intelligent, the larger breeds such as the Umbrella, Moluccan and Sulfur-Crest are very bright while smaller ones are not that sharp.
All parrots possess the ability to talk but some more than others. Although Cockatoos are very sociable, they are not known to be very good at mimicry or speaking. They have a very good pitch and voice level and do sometimes talk and mimic, but this ability is not found to be general or constant in every Cockatoo. Even if they learn to speak and copy human speech, the words are mumbled and not clear enough to be understood. There are exceptions where some are great talkers, but is not common. This also depends on training which is much difficult then training African Grey parrots to talk. All Cockatoos whistle a lot, especially males and they also good at mimicking household sounds.
These birds are intelligent; if placed in a noisy area such as the lounge with the television on they may pick up words and will also attempt to learn certain songs and tunes.