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Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

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Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby banuvatt » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:20 am

If anyone has information of this species of cockatoo I would like to hear it. For a while, I have been trying to figure out what species of parrot I should get. I went from cockatiels, pious parrots, princess parakeets, and so on. But. can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoo? I love cockatoos because of their beauty and their personality. Cockatoos are different from other parrots when they mean by beauty. Their beauty is in their simplicity they don't have the bright vibrant colors of a macaw or a rainbow lorikeet. But, they are still an elegant looking bird similar to a dove in a way. But, I love the personality of cockatoos they are very clownish. The only thing I can tell so far about the Ducorp's cockatoo is that it is rare in aviculture.
banuvatt
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:06 pm

I don't have any personal experience with Ducorps and do not know anybody that has one so what I can offer is very little. They are corellas (broadcrested) and they look a lot like an umbrella only they are smaller (just a bit bigger than a Goffins) and they do not have the yellow tinge that umbrellas have. They are reported to be quieter than other cockatoos but, if you ever had a too, you would know that this really doesn't mean much because you are talking about relativity - cockatoos being INCREDIBLY loud and prone to screaming all the time, saying that the Ducorps is quieter does not really mean 'quiet' in any sense of the word :lol: And, like ALL cockatoos, they are INCREDIBLY needy and destructive so, unless you can spend the next 20 - 30 - 40 years staying at home almost every single day, all day long, and providing constant entertainment and close company (which means the bird will be ON you), a cockatoo is not the bird for you.
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby banuvatt » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:59 pm

Maybe once I retire from a job I will get one. :lol: I think while Ducorp's are notable quieter than other cockatoos. There is no cockatoo quieter than a cockatiel. They really don't make that much noise most of it is chirping and whistling. Then again cockatiels are also the smallest of the cockatoos. (I know size doesn't necessarily always determine noise level conures are just as loud as a jumbo jet and significantly smaller than macaws.)
I found this website about Ducorps it made them really seem like the ideal cockatoo besides cockatiels. https://cockatoosanctuary.net/ducorp/ I know that generally speaking to keep birds from screaming you have to give them enrichment(toys.) That doesn't mean of course you can just leave them in the cage by themselves and not play with them. I am very well of this they need social interaction especially if it's a bird living by itself.
banuvatt
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:33 am

Well, in my personal experience, 'enrichment' means nothing when it comes to screams. Cockatoos (or any other parrot, for that matter) don't scream because they don't have any toys to play with (they couldn't care less about toys - parrots don't have toys in the wild and they certainly do not play). I have found that parrots scream because they are either overly-hormonal or alone. Period. I have a cockatoo, amazons and quakers, all species that are reported to scream a lot and very loudly but you don't hear a peep in my house during the day. Linus Too does vocalize at dawn a little bit and more at dusk but it only lasts a couple of minutes - of the four zons I have, the only one that vocalizes a bit more often is Mami because she reacts to whatever is happening at the time... Like, if another bird bothers her by going close to Naida (her girlfriend), Mami starts her alarm call that sound like ALLAH BAH TEH AH ALLAH BAH TEH AH. If I am singing, Mami 'joins' with her "Tra La La La La" (Mami loves music and if I forget to turn it on early in the am, she asks for it by going: "Tra la la? Tra la la?"), if I am talking to my husband, she joins in the conversation making noises that sound EXACTLY like a human talking but are not really words. And, if I am talking to somebody other than my husband -like on the phone or a visit- she starts with her 'I love you" or her 'Hello! How are youuuu?" because she knows these are the two things that I will ALWAYS reply to. The quakers are a bit too noisy right now because they are new to the house and their endocrine system is not quite in tune with the seasons yet but the ones I've had in the past never screamed, either.

I had a screamer cockatoo and that bird screamed and screamed and screamed for 10 whole months almost non-stop. He had been kept at a human light schedule (so he was overly-hormonal) and alone in a cage while his owners worked during the day so he had gotten used to screaming for help all the time. But he stopped once his endocrine system went back on track and he realized that he was never going to be left alone again (I went to him every single time he screamed and comforted him).

So, yes, I am well aware of what people say about parrots needing enrichment but, in my personal opinion and experience, as long as the bird is kept at a solar schedule, given a good fresh food diet, allowed flight and loooong hours of out-of-cage time, the only enrichment a parrot needs is constant companionship and lots of things to chew. The toys are KoolAid and more for our own benefit (we like to think that we give them nice things and adornment for their cages) than theirs.
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby banuvatt » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:11 pm

Well sure parrots don't have toys in the wild, but I thought parrots scream also if they are bored. So that's why we give them toys as something to do when we are gone. That's why I thought toys were something as a means to do to prevent excess screaming. So when you come home that's when you give them social enrichment. You let them outside their cage and you play with them for a while. This may sound like a stupid question, please forgive me but when you say to keep them at the Solar Schedule what do you exactly mean? Like daylight savings? I know birds need twelve hours of sleep. Too much sleep they get drowsy I believe and non-active too little sleep they tend to get grouchy and moody.
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:08 am

The 12 hours of sleep is an obsolete concept. When we first got parrots (back in the late 60's and early 70's) we used to keep them at a human light schedule (lights on before the sun rises and after it sets) but we realized that they were all screwed up: screaming, plucking, not breeding right, aggressive, etc. So, because back in those days we did not know much about different species, we thought that parrots were all tropical birds and, if there were 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark in the tropics, then the solution was to do the same thing for the pet ones. This came to be known as 12L/12D schedule and what you are referring to. But, although they were getting more sleep and some (the tropical species) did a bit better, they were still screwed up. As time went by, people learned more about birds in general and parrots in particular (we know more now but, in reality, we haven't even scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg that represents all the knowledge there is on birds) and one of the things we learned was that all birds are photoperiodic -which means that they regulate their endocrine system by the amount and quality of light they are exposed to. Funny thing is, canary breeders had known about this for a loooooong time (I started with canaries when I was a child, exactly 57 years ago to be precise, and they already knew about this back then and had known it for like 100 years) but, for some reason, there was very little overlap between the two groups -you had people who kept passerines and you had people who kept parrots- so it has taken a loooong time (people are very stubborn, once they learn something, it's hard for them to discard that notion and go in a completely different way -it's called the 'anchoring bias' and one of the tricks our minds play with us) for this knowledge to 'sink in' among parrot keepers (parrot people, even friends of mine, used to make fun of me because I insisted the solar schedule was necessary) and, unfortunately, the wrong information is still out there. So, no, parrots do not need to sleep 12 hours every single night of the year, they need to sleep when it's dark - if this means 14 hours, then it's 14 hours and, if it means 8 hours, they sleep 8 hours. They follow the seasons: long days/short nights in the summer and short days/long nights in the winter. And, yes, even tropical birds need this because a) there is a difference of 20 minutes on the equator from one season to another and believe it or not, birds are able to register this small difference AND b) when kept in a temperate climate light schedule (meaning, longer that 12 hours for the day during the summer and much shorter in the winter), they all revert to using photoperiodism (photo from the Greek word for light and periodism as in seasons) as their first breeding trigger (there are several studies about this that prove it). You see, birds (like all other animals) evolved to breed precisely when it's the best time for them in the habitat they evolved to 'fit in' so you have birds that are long day breeders (the ones that breed in the spring) and long day breeders (the ones that breed in the fall) because the primary environmental trigger for them is food availability, the second being weather. The short day breeders go into breeding condition when the days are getting shorter (which one would think it's counterintuitive as long days would mean a better situation for them) because that is when the weather is mild and the food is abundant -think of countries like India, for example, when the long days bring monsoon weather with constant hard rain and very strong winds that would not allow the birds to go out foraging and the winds are so strong that they end up breaking vegetation so plants cannot produce flowers or fruits. But, as the weather is always good inside a human home and there is always food available to them, the ONLY tool we have to keep them from producing hormones all year round, year after year (which is what happens if you keep them at 12L/12D light schedule) is the strict solar light schedule. This is achieved by not exposing the bird to any light prior or during dawn and until the sun is high in the sky or after the sun is halfway down to the horizon and for the rest of the night - because it is the different spectrum that ONLY happens during the two events of twilight every day that turn on or off their internal clock. I always use the same analogy because it's easy for everybody to understand: think of it as a stop watch inside their brains (birds are so dependent on light that they even have photoreceptor cells -cells that 'sense' and react to light- inside their brains instead of just in the eyes like mammals have and you want to hear something really cool? this is so important that the bones in their head evolved to be thin enough to allow light to go through them!). It gets turned on by the light of dawn and turned off with the light of dusk - and the number of hours in between is registered by the master gland. When a certain number is reached (every species has one), the master gland sends hormones to the sexual organs to activate the production of sexual hormones, grow and prepare for reproduction - and, when it reaches still another number (this number is called the point of photorefractoriness), it stops production until the following year, the gonads (sexual organs) shrink in size and become dormant.

As to why people give them toys.... well, they do it because they read that it's good for them and they want to make their bird's life better because they love them. You need to take what you read out there with a large grain of salt and do your own research on it (which does not mean reading things that people post - not even me!- but going to scientific sources) because most of the information posted was originally given to the people who repeated it by breeders, pet store owners or employees and avian vets - and ALL of them have two things in common: they all belong to the pet industry (meaning, the bottom line is not love but money to them) and most of them have not studied much if anything at all about behavior or the natural conditions that these birds live under in the wild. If you observe parrots in the wild, you see that they do not 'play', they simply have natural behaviors that people usually confuse with playing. A bird chewing a toy is not playing with the toy, it's simply satisfying its need to chew or trying to make a nest. A bird beating the crap out of a toy is not playing with the toy, it's simply redirecting aggression. What you do observe in the wild is parrots foraging, bathing, preening and allopreening, nesting, breeding, etc. ALWAYS surrounded by other parrots. Wild adult animals don't have the time or a natural predisposition to play... they need to survive and that is a full time job. When you leave a parrot on its own all day long, you are literally torturing the poor animal with loneliness and anxiety. Parrots evolved to live with other parrots from birth to death and there is nothing more stressing to them than being all alone so, give a parrot a healthy life (diet, light schedule, flight, many hours of out-of-cage, etc), an environment as close to natural as you can make it (natural perches, etc), natural stuff to chew (not plastic or metal) and companionship 24/7/365 and you will have a parrot that might not be 100% happy (impossible in captivity) but will be healthy and content with its life.

Having said all that about toys, I do buy some for mine. I look for toys made out of natural materials like wood, including balsa, dried grasses or yucca, paper, etc that are good for the species itself (like yucca kabobs for the budgies, grass piñata toys for the GCCs, little sticks for the quakers, large pieces of colored wood for the too, etc) and hang them in their cages. They look pretty in their cages (and I am as vain as anybody else about how good my birds cages look) and give the bird something to chew on different than the boxes or rolled up magazines or catalogs they also get. But they do NOT substitute for company and they do not 'make up' for being in jail (which is what a cage is, after all).
Pajarita
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby banuvatt » Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:42 pm

Thank you, that was extremely informative although quite a lot to process lol. My brain feels like it's scrambled eggs trying to go through that much. :lol: All I can say is it's amazing how much you know about this. You are an incredibly bright woman, and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share that information with me. I think it's just amazing how long people have owned parrots and how little we know about them. Or rather how much we only just figured out within recent years. While owning parrots being mainstream is new. Owning parrots, in general, isn't the Ancient Egyptians, Civilizations of India, Aztecs/Mayans owned parrots, Greeks/Romans while owning parrots has been much exclusively in the past towards only royalty or high-status class. I know that owning parrots became a big thing post-Christopher Columbus since the exotic pet trade was popular in postmodern Europe.
banuvatt
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:28 am

Yes, there is a lot of knowledge that goes into caring for a parrot properly - and that's why we, long-term parrot keepers, always say that it is VERY hard to keep a parrot healthy and happy. Anybody who claims it's easy is simply not doing it right. But the greatest hurdle is not so much the knowledge because that can be acquired (the sources are there if you look for them and we are constantly learning because in the last 20 years or so, we have been taking huge steps forward on this), the insurmountable obstacle is that a normal household cannot provide the right husbandry for them. It's impossible for a person with a normal lifestyle to keep a pet parrot healthy and happy.

And you are correct that although keeping parrots as pets has been done for thousands of years, we really know very little about them. And, to make matters worse, we have pitiful few studies done on them - not that I like for them to be used as subjects of experimentation or kept in a lab so they can be studied, mind you! Poor Alex suffered terribly his entire life and died young because of it, and the well-known dietary studies done on cockatiels by Roudybush in the 80's ended up killing all the birds in less than a year so they could necropsy them - a stupid thing to do as the period of time was too short to be truly indicative of anything (parrots living such long lives).
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby banuvatt » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:36 am

Well, that's a pity even a cockatiel has a lifespan of 15-20 years and even can almost reach 30 within the right circumstances. I think parrots should be studied because of several reasons 1. They are important to the ecosystem since they are frugivores. Especially since they are long-distance seed dispersers they are crucial to a tree's chance of survival. Since studies have shown that trees whose seeds drop directly down as opposed to being carried to a different location. Are less likely to germinate and will fail.
2. Their intelligence parrots are probably the smartest species of birds besides Corvids. They can be as smart as a five-year-old challenging the conventional idea of birds as stupid or more the comically phrased used "bird brain." They trivial the intelligence of great apes since as chimps and also aquatic mammals such as dolphins. Most people think of a parrot that mindlessly mimics words and copy phases. But, actually, I heard of a study that found out parrots can actually understand basic context according to one psychologist.
3. They have such a long history being kept by human beings isn't that worth saving? Europeans, Asians, Africans(Egyptians specifically), Native Americans(Southwestern tribes of the USA, and Mayans, also Aztecs), all have kept parrots as pets. For thousands of years, they were admired for their beauty and their ability to talk. I would argue that they were one of the first birds kept as pets maybe except for songbirds.
4. Imagine the rainforest without hearing the loud screeches of colorful parrots flying in large flocks. It's almost unthinkable because the rainforest is so connected with parrots. I am sure this is what people have thought for centuries animals are in unlimited supply and they will never run out. That's what people in America have thought during the 1800s about the Carolina parakeet which was hunted to extinction due to being persecuted as a crop pest, for sport, and for the pet trade. The Spix Macaw went extinct in the wild not too long ago. Not to mention the last male died even more recently than that. It's such a shame that such a beautiful bird was being exploited to being crammed into a small cage and or worst made into a trophy.
banuvatt
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Re: Can anyone tell me about the Ducorp's cockatoos?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:15 pm

Actually, cockatiels' lifespan is closer to 35 than to 15 - but the biggest issue I have with the Roudybush studies is that you can't really determine ANYTHING about diet effect on a body when you only do it for 11 months! It's like saying that eating just humbergers is fine because a child was fed that diet for a couple of years and they found the child was still healthy. It's stupid. You can feed all kinds of wrong things to an animal for a short period of time and the animal will be still 'healthy', it's the long term that makes the difference. Feed a human only hamburgers for 20 years and then come back and tell me how healthy that human is. It's the same thing with parrots, you can feed the wrong diet for years and the bird will still be apparently healthy (and I say 'apparently' because even blood work can come back normal when the bird is very sick) but keep on doing it and the bird will die.

Yes, parrots can understand and use human language. It's called cognitive speech and one of my parrots has it - only one, mind you! All of them understand much more than we realize but not all have cognitive speech.

Parrots have been kept for thousands of years but more as a novelty/exotic something to look at than real pets. And they were kept under terrible conditions... Even in countries where parrots are wild (which, in my mind, would mean that they should know a lot about their proper care because they have them right there, easily observable) are not cared for correctly. My own grandmother used to handraise baby quakers to release back into the wild (so as to save their lives) and I now shudder to think how wrong we were about their diet.... it was a miracle they survived!

But there is hope for the Spix! There is a program that has been breeding them for later release into the wild for years and years now (it was slow going because most of the specimens they had had PDD and the healthy ones would not breed naturally, they had to be inseminated). They even bought a large area of the territory in Brazil that used to be their natural habitat and are now allowing it to go back to the wild (it used to be a ranch/farm) in preparation for their release. There are a couple of threads about them (see here:
theparrotforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=15950&p=120077&hilit=spix&sid=bae4d3a6022cf9351328adf561ad8133#p120077
http://theparrotforum.com/viewtopic.php ... 33#p128667
http://theparrotforum.com/viewtopic.php ... 33#p132958
that I have been putting together for quite some time, showing the progress as I find out about it.
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Flight: Yes

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