My Feather Destructive Cockatoo


Goffin cockatoo, Theo

A couple of weeks ago, I was cleaning Theo’s cage and noticed one of a parrot owners most dreaded sights: the tattered remnants of feathers – evidence of feather destruction.

Whenever we discover feather destructive behaviors (FDB) in our birds it is heartbreaking, but this was a particularly distressing discovery for me given Theo’s background.

I took Theo in about 6 years ago from a home where she had lived for almost all of her life – she was 23 at the time. It was a good home and she ...


Continue reading

Does Your Bird Over Preen? This Might Be Why!

Photo of quaker by Anna Sloan

Over preening is a feather destructive behavior. Sometimes a bird begins to pay too much attention to its feathers – in a way that seems unhealthy and obsessive. Generally, we observe this through changed preening behaviors.

For reasons that make no sense to me, over preening has a less ominous status as a behavioral problem than plucking. However, it is a precursor to plucking and very loudly states that something is wrong.

A couple of months ago I was in contact with a woman who ...

Read the rest or post a comment »

Continue reading

How One Person Stopped Her African Grey Parrot’s Feather Plucking

Congo african grey

I had a long conversation about 6 months ago with a woman that I had known for years from bird forums I was active on. I always looked forward to her posts because her perspective on life was so unique. She has an african grey parrot that we’ll call “Margo” that provided her with endless stories to share.

“Helen”, a multiple bird owner with years of experience, always had the right answer to people’s questions. She would carefully craft her explanations in language that everyone ...

Read the rest or post a comment »

Continue reading

Anti-Plucking Products

Q: Do any of the anti-plucking products available actually work?
Gary M., New London, CT

A: There are two types of products on the market that address the issue of plucking: one approaches the problem medicinally, the other physically prevents access to the affected areas.

The following is my opinion. It is based on research of the ingredients in the herbal products and on the opinions of trusted sources who have used them and other products:

Ingestible remedies:

There are a few varieties of these products available, but there ...

Read the rest or post a comment »

Continue reading

Plucked Parrots

When I have asked bird owners what initially attracted them to parrots, they usually say it is their beauty and grace. Birds are visually stunning. It is impossible for that not to be the first thing we notice...

Read more »

Continue reading

When Is It Time To Give Up Your Parrot?

When a person without bird experience goes into a pet store, it is easy to fall in love with the young, interactive and beautiful parrot on display. She may fall head over heels in love with you, and you with her, and may call loudly to you when you leave making your heart feel heavy. She might remember you when you come back into the store for dog food weeks later, and do everything in her power to get you to return to her cage side and all but ...

Read the rest or post a comment »

Continue reading