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Lifestyle & Culture

A Cockatoo Makes a Great Companion

By Julia Block, Copy Editor

As of today, I live with a total of 11 birds. 

Out of all the birds my family owns, my favorite birds are our cockatoos. 

For those unfamiliar with cockatoos, they can be a lot of work. 

Many cockatoo owners compare their birds to toddlers, except the cockatoo acts like a toddler for the majority of its lifespan, which can be up to 70 years. 

We have two different types of cockatoos: a sulphur-crested cockatoo and a Goffin’s cockatoo. 

Our sulphur-crested cockatoo, Duke, is the bigger of the two. 

He has a beautiful yellow crest that sticks up on his head when he is curious or frightened in any way. 

Duke has a very mellow personality compared to most cockatoos. 

He is the kind of bird that is perfectly content simply sitting on your shoulder while you go about your business. 

I like to call him my “homework bird” because he enjoys keeping me company while I do homework each day, sitting peacefully on my arm as I study. 

However, Duke is not always quiet and calm all the time. 

From his cage, he can always be heard screaming, mimicking laughter or saying “I love you,” as well as his most commonly used phrase, “Hi Duke.”

He may also be caught babbling incomprehensible blurbs of sound, or slipping up with a curse word from time to time, which is always quite humorous. 

On the other hand, our Goffin’s cockatoo, Sophie, is the perfect example of a bird that lives to play. 

While Sophie doesn’t have a yellow crest like Duke, she has a smaller white crest that is upright much more often than Duke’s. 

Sophie is rarely caught sitting still, whether she is in or outside of her cage. 

She can be easily amused with everyday objects, including paper, disposable cups or plates, socks, or anything that she can rip up or roll around with. 

The one thing I can say about Sophie is that she shows people why birds are more than just “shoulder-pets.” 

One of her favorite “toys” to play with is the small shovel we use to fill the bird seed dishes every      night.

She will roll around on the floor with that shovel for hours if we let her, and if we take it from her and throw it, she will chase after it like a dog playing a game of fetch. 

Additionally, Sophie, like Duke, also talks. 

She says, “Hi pretty Soph” as clear as a bell. 

Sometimes, she even gets a little carried away and adds a few “pretties” into the phrase, to the point where she is “pretty pretty pretty Soph.”

She is such a fun, crazy and cute pet to own, love and play with. 

Overall, the energy and personalities of our cockatoos never cease to entertain and amaze me. 

While Duke and Sophie are different from one another in a few aspects, their differences make them unique, and I can’t imagine not having both of them. 

These birds are extremely intelligent and loving animals, and I would definitely recommend a cockatoo to anyone looking for a fun and faithful companion for a long time period. 


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