Hi guys. Today I want you to meet my newest family member: Marni. Marni is not just any pet, he is a umbrella cockatoo. Many people act a bit surprised, since birds (and definitely large parrots) are not so common as cats and dogs.

I’ve always been a bird person (nice description of a crazy bird lady). My grandparents had a grey, my parents own a amazon parrot,  I myself have had Fleur de Sel, a lovebird for over 7 years. I did a lot of research (which is necessary with these kind of birds), was over 4 months on a waiting list (enough time to rethink my decision) and in March we welcomed Marni in our home. He’s now over 2 months my beloved pet and I can’t imagine life without him.

As a fun way to get you quickly in the know with cockatoos, I’ll give you a 10 facts:

  1. Cockatoos can live up to 80 years. So, that makes them a lifetime commitment. The chance that Marni outlives me is big.
  2. Cockatoos are 10 times smarter than dogs. They have the intelligence of a child of 4-5 years old. Which makes them very smart.
  3. Cockatoos don’t eat like small birds. Next to the standard pellets, they need fresh fruit and cooked vegetables on a daily basis. Yes indeed, a lot of work. My freezer is full with small dinner packages for Marni.
  4. Chocolate and avocado are two things that are poisonous for cockatoos. Also peanuts are actually not healthy for them.
  5. Cockatoos produce a lot of dust. In order to be healthy, they need a shower at least 3 times a week.
  6. Cockatoos only fly to find a mate, food or in case of danger. Cockatoos that are kept as a pet prefer to run and climb. When they fly in your home, they can break their necks (when flying against the window) or hurt themselves in many other ways. Marni is clipped (his flight feathers are shortened), what makes that he is safe all the time, can go outside with me, …
  7. Cockatoos need mental challenges. They love to learn tricks and words and need a lot of toys that can give them those challenges. Or just something to put their beak in. :)
  8. Cockatoos are one of the loudest kinds of birds. Marni did not screech yet, fingers crossed that he’ll keep the screeching to a minimum.
  9. There are many kinds of cockatoos. Marni is an Umbrella Cockatoo with a lovely white crest. When he is surprised, happy, mad, curious, … the crest goes up. Really cute to see.
  10. Cockatoos are not kept in a cage all the time. Once you are home, you have to get him out and let him play in a playing area (where he can make a real mess). I love to take him everywhere, watch movies on my HP Spectre with him and cuddle him all night

There are many more facts to share, but I don’t want to bore you with my crazy-bird-lady enthousiasm.

Underneath a picture diary of the last 10 weeks. :)

Want to know more about Marni, then you can follow him (of course!) on Instagram.


Let me know what you think. :)

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