Parrots in the Land of Oz
Video: Cockatoo Uses Tools to Attract a Mate

A male palm cockatoo gets crafty in his effort to attract a mate.

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    OMG BEAUTIFUL bird… Thank god they are not endangered!!! I am getting one 2 years from now if all goes well… The breeder that breeds them has received a permit between austraila and the US so he brought them here legally without hunting them for the pet market… Truley amazing bird and mine is going in my “WILL” lol heck if they can live to 90yrs then my family is in trouble… lol

  • Phil

    The video is incredible. Just because they aren’t “endangered” doesn’t mean they should live in captivity. I’m seeing a free-roaming inquisitive and intelligent animal that forms a close and long-lived bond, possibly for life, not a commodity. Should we really trap, ship, and forever separate them from their habitat and potential mates just because we think they are beautiful. The previous post takes away some of my enthusiasm for life that comes with observing such a wonderful free-living bird even on TV. Please consider finding a non-animated thing of beauty or a companion such as a dog that thrives in captivity.

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  • Margaret Cathcart

    The entire program was absolutely phenomenal! I have not enjoyed a program more!

  • Janelle

    I really enjoyed watching this episode the other night! I am very fascinated with birds…. All of the birds that were shown were so gorgeous! I wish I could take one home to keep my pet Dove company :-)

  • kandee

    I dream of spending time amongst the Palms in Australia. Please let them be.

  • Rollin

    Outstanding show – One of the best I’ve seen in some time! I can’t get the “greeting” sounds of the Palm Cockatoo out of my head! Beautiful!

  • SANA

    I have a parakeet parrot rock also but wow amazing show!!!!

  • Dawn

    For those who are thinking of purchasing a Palm Cockatoo: please don’t! The Palm Cockatoo is listed on Appendix I of CITES, (species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade). Please do not buy one! Palm Cockatoos only lay one egg and have one of the highest rates of natural breeding failure of all parrots. Palm Cockatoos are hunted in New Guinea. There is no way of knowing for sure where purchased birds come from. Please help protect this beautiful species and do not support the world-wide bird-napping business.

    I cannot imagine seeing this lovely video and thinking “Now I must *own* this animal”. I’d rather donate $ to their natural habitat instead and let them live in peace.

  • Susanna – Italy

    I totally agree with Dawn. Wild animals are to be respected and kept as wild. Do resist the temptation of owing one, do not increment the shameless business of animal trade, whether parrot or whales.

  • Kelly Merkel

    According to IUCN, The Palm Cockatoo is not threatened.
    It is of ‘Least Concern’ 2008

  • Katie

    All birds deserve to be born and left in the wild. I say this as a bird owner. I love mine, but live with the guilt of knowing that I have encouraged the pet trade in my purchase of them. They will always have a ‘good’ and loving home with me, and hopefully with my niece one day, but they would have been better born to their natural domains.

  • Scott

    I think this is an amazing behavior the Palm Cockatoo has learned. I wonder just how far back this ritual goes, and how it got started. It certainly gives new meaning to the word, “bird brain!” This describes incredible intelligence.
    I’m amazed at the focus and even the verbal sound that was captured on the video. Way to go.

  • Alicia

    I agree that they’re beautiful, intelligent birds, & I completely understand the desire to keep one in close proximity… but I absolutely, unequivocally agree with Phil, Kandee, Dawn, Susanna & Katie. Wild animals belong just there – in the wild. Their conservation status (least concern, threatened, endangered) doesn’t enter into it.

  • Denise

    What a fascinating video! Birds truly are a gift from god.

  • Francesca

    I know exactly where you’re coming from Katie. As a teenager I had a wonderful budgie and mourned his loss. I thought it would be a good idea to get a larger bird and now have been living with a gorgeous Amazon parrot for 28 years. There is no way that this family member can be “released” into her natural environment but I would not support the parrot trade by buying one ever again. As for my very intelligent and charming baby, she has full flight and no cage and I sacrifice the house on a daily basis to give her at least this amount of freedom. I will likely need to have a will drawn up to take care of her.

  • Matt

    For the comments that seem to criticize exotic bird owners, because you think that the domestication of parrots means you’ve prevented the animal from living a natural and happy life, I think you’ve missed an important fact. I would never vouch for poachers to take these animals out of the wild to be sold as pets, but if an already domesticated pair breeds and has a chick, then what are you supposed to do with the chick? You can’t just send it back in to the wild, even if you wait until it reaches maturity. The chances of survival would be very slim. An infant parrot, coming from a domesticated breeding pair, will have a better life being owned by a bird-loving person. Birds probably should have never been domesticated, I agree, but that cannot be changed now.

  • Luis

    If you are considering owning a parrot or similar type of bird, do so ONLY if you have the time for it, they require
    lots of attention to be “happy” when they are not in their natural environment. They are like children who never grow up and give you back the same love you give to them.

  • Karin

    To those who think they want a parrot for a pet. Parrots are beautiful, interesting, highly intelligent, and very social. Humans cannot mimic their social environment, so despite what people think, captive birds are not happy. They are bored, depressed, lonely, and unable to communicate effectively with their humans. They instinctively chew and destroy things, bite, and squawk, which people find difficult to live with, but the birds are just doing what they’d do in the wild. Eventually, nearly every single parrot in captivity is passed along to someone else. Maybe one in a thousand people keeps a bird its entire lifetime, and even those who do keep them in cages where they can’t get the 24/7 social interaction, psychological and physical exercise they need. Parrots belong with other parrots in the environment to which they are adapted. Keeping a parrot in your home is the equivalent of keeping a human in solitary confinement with only a few hours a day to interact with his/her alien prison guards. What to do with a chick is not an excuse for keeping birds captive, but that’s not where most captive birds come from. Captive birds are intentionally raised by people to sell as pets. They are not “accidental” hatchlings. Please leave wild things wild, especially highly intelligent and social animals like parrots that simply do not do well in captivity.

  • Lesley

    Of course these guys are endangered, mainly due to loss of habitat. Let them be. They SHOULD NOT be kept in captivity and are certainly NOT companion birds. Get REAL.

  • Jeannie

    HOW could anyone want to keep an animal like this who is meant to fly free, mate, have babies- put it in a cage, and then go to work all day, leaving it to SLOWLY GO INSANE….Most pet birds live a life equivalent to that of solitarty confinement. Even man begins to self destruct in solitary.
    PARROTS have the emotional intelligence of a 3-5 year old human.

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