Ask Lafeber


January 20, 2020


Is it normal for a male cockatoo to build a nest?


Hi Wendy,

Yes, captive birds can become hormonal to the point that they feel driven to nest, even a male. Because cockatoos like to shred things, we tend to give them toys they can shred. However, this can trigger hormonal behavior. As it is a male, it isn’t as bad as with a female who might start laying eggs. However, from a behavioral standpoint, he may become obsessed with nesting and refuse to leave the nest. If he gets to this point, then it is time to take away anything he can use for a nest and remove the nest he has made. Change his toys around, and give him non-shredding type toys. Also because cockatoos can be so cuddly, we make the mistake of overpetting them. When we pet them anywhere except on the head, this can trigger breeding behavior because only the mate would be allowed to groom him on his body. So it is best to limit physical contact to head scratches and avoid full body cuddles.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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