Crested Cockatoos are from the small island of Samba in the
Indonesian archipelago. They are a subspecies of the
Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. They are endangered on
this island, sometimes considered a crop pest.
Murdock in May of 2004. He was 5 at the time, having
been let go by his previous owners in the US. He was
born in the US by a breeder down there. At first
he was a bit bitey, but has since settled down.
Rarely is he in a cage, only if no one is home. He
seems to understand this and has no problems going into a
ferret cage we got for him, but definitely happy to get out
when we get home.
Murdock cannot fly, his left wing is somehow damaged and
cannot extend all the way. When he jumps down or falls,
it's not a good experience as he is often beak first.
FOOD: He is quite fussy in what he eats, but
generally he will eat anything we have for our own
meals. Banana or muffin in the morning, sometimes peanut
buttered toast. Lunch may be a bit of cheese (mozzarella
only) or bread, or some of his constant supply of unshelled
peanuts. Dinner may be broccoli, corn, spaghetti (only
if it has some sauce on it), potato, and even occasional
meat. Seems fond of the fat on bacon, but that is rare
we give that. Their natural diet does include insect
grubs also high in fat. For treats he likes tinned fruit
and Zesty Tortias. These he will dunk in his water dish,
wait a few secs, turn over, wait more, then eat it.
BEHAVIOUR: A real clown at times. He exhibits
some real interesting behaviours. Who he likes is very
selective. Hates most females, especially my youngest
daughter. Most men he is very fond of, to the point of
being a pest to one person not leaving him alone. Dances
when happy to see someone, kicking up one foot like a chorus
girl. Sometimes he does a head flipping dance back
and forth, but stops when he see you see him doing it.
There is the hop and jump dance, where he struts on the floor,
does a hop, opens his wings a bit, crest up. Then does
it again. He will also do a hand fetish dance.
Standing on your hand, with your fingers open, he dances on
your hand, running he beak across your arm around your
fingers. Then holding a finger in his beak, dances with
his legs, then on to a different finger.
Murdock is definitely
not a morning person. After breakfast he often will
spend the rest of the day dozing off. His most active
time is in the evening. Generally he is very good to go to
bed. Rarely do we hear him squawk once his room light is
out and then only for a few minutes will he squawk, but then he stops. Waking
up around 8am when the conures start their squawking.
Loves to display to himself in front of a mirror.
I have a Jeep TJ and have taken the back seat out, put in a
wire mesh behind the front seats and put in a perch. I
try to take him out when we do, even if for only shopping for
food. He seems to like going in the car a lot as he
dances when you place him on the car perch. Once a
week we try to take him to the PetSmart near us. They
like to see him there, and we think it's good for him to see
SOUNDS: When hungry, or sees his favourite food come out of
the shopping bags, he makes a "Ah Ha" sound.
If left alone in a room too long, he will start
"Hello", then "HELLO", then "HELLOOOO!!!"
He does say his name, and has added some words in front of
that. One night he said 'good night Murdock" as I
was putting him to bed. When the phone rings he says
"Hello", and it can be any phone with different ring
tones. When you are on the phone, he says
"OK" He talks the most when we are out
walking the dogs or going in the car. The neighbors
certainly know when we have him out! He will says words
such as "pretty boooyyy", many things we can't figure out,
and then there is his high pitched shrieking. Now that
is loud! Better he does that outside, however he has done it
inside. Generally he is very quiet, don't even know he is
in the house sometimes. Occasionally, people turn off
the kitchen light forgetting he is on his perch, you certainly
know about it from him though!
HABITAT: We have a house with a fair yard.
Murdock is allowed to be free, but supervised, not left alone
wandering around. (we also have 4 dogs) He has a perch
system hung from the kitchen ceiling which is where he spends
most of the day. In the bird room, he has a chair he sits on when I'm on the computer. Content playing
with logos or preening himself. At night he sleeps in
the conure tree (they go in their cage box). Outside, in
the warmer weather, he spends his day either in the front
crabapple trees, or the back porch tree I have for him.
The front trees are funny because he will squawk at people as
they pass by, of course they have no idea what it is! He
gets a shower or bath 2-3 days a week, getting dried with
either a blow dryer or standing in front of a small heater.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: At night we take him to our
bedroom to watch TV before we pack it in. He's allowed
to wonder around the bed, usually our big dog will be on the
bed too. One night he wanted to get to the other side of
the bed, but the dog was in the way, so he stepped on the
dog's back to get over. Of course the dog lifted his
head and Murdock jumped off, turned to the dog, opened his
wings a bit and gave a laughing sound! Another time, he
got into a laughing match with my daughter's boyfriend while
on his arm. The two of them were laughing together,
feeding off each other.
Enough stories, pictures!