Heineken is one of our most talkative birds here at the Big Cat and he is called a moluccan cockatoo or Cacatua moluccensis.
Often when you walk by the bird house you hear someone ask “How ya doin?”. If you walk by and hear this phrase it is most likely this cheeky little guy just trying to get a rise out of you. He loves to whistle and swing on his perch and is definitely the first to chase out any new volunteers or helpers we get that try to feed. It is not that he is “mean” but maybe misunderstood would be a better term. Cockatoos are so smart that they know when someone is “new” and not so experienced with birds. It becomes more of a dominance issue than anything. Remember they rule their roost and were just there to make sure the roost is the best they could ask for!
Some pretty amazing fact about these birds is that in Australia they are known more as a nuisance, kind of like our seagulls are here in America! Could you Imagine one of these guys swooping down for your french fries?? However, please note that this species of cockatoo is listed as vulnerable which means if we don’t pay more attention to the illegal pet trade and deforestation, it could become detrimental to their survival in the wild!
These guys can live well into their 80’s although rumor has it the oldest living cockatoo was said to be 106 years old! So to say the least, if you plan on getting one of these exotic birds you might want to plan on finding a second home for it as well! They will most often live out the lives of their owners and without proper planning will usually end up in sanctuaries like ours or Jungle Gardens. Sadly, if the bird owners cannot find a safe place birds are often euthanized.