Bare Eyed Cockatoo

Cacatua sanguinea

» Also called Little Corella, Short-billed Corella, Blood-stained Cockatoo
» 14 to 16"
» Native to Australia and southern New Guinea
» There are 4 sub-species: Cacatua s. sanguinea, C. s. Normantoni, C. s. transfreta and C. s. gymnopis
» Highly gregarious. Is usually seen in flocks consisting of hundreds and even thousands of birds.
» Considered an agricultural pest in Australia. Populations are stable. 

The Bare-eyed Cockatoo is generally an intelligent, high-energy cockatoo. Bare-eyes occur in very large flocks and spend a great deal of time on the ground in the wild. Supervised floor/flat surface play on safe, clean, defined area with verbal permission should be encouraged. I believe because of their tendency to spend a lot of time on the ground, Bare-eyed Cockatoos should have a cage at least 30 inches wide, preferably with no grate to encourage floor play, and lots of foot toys. Many Bare-eyes will love to playfully roll on the floor of their cage with or without toys. They play on the ground in the wild and have been filmed playing on their backs banging two sticks together. Stimulation with a wide variety of toys, and play situations is essential. They tend to go from one thing to another in play rather than devoting a lot of time to one 'project'. Bare-eyed Cockatoos are very social birds with a large flock mentality, which means that usually they are not one-person birds. With guidance and time from everyone, Bare-eyeds can make a good family pet who stays tame to everyone in the family if everyone handles them on a frequent basis. Many love to play-wrestle with owners.

Problems include a tendency to be bitey. Often this is play and may start because over-excitement. Many birds can be calmed down if the energy in the household calms down. Bare-eyes need lots of chew toys. Their beak always seems pointy and sharp as one of their habits seems to be frequent bill-wiping on perches and other objects to keep it sharp. Many of them are nail chewers. This may be a natural habit because sharp, pointy beaks are good for digging in the ground for food in the wild. If you have a young Bare-eyed 'too, it is a good idea to get them used to having their nails gently filed as a routine grooming process. Just taking the pointy tips off can keep them easier to hold. As with most cockatoos, they have a tendency to become fat on predominantly seed diet. 

They can be excellent talkers but like most cockatoos can be noisy. They don't have the reputation for being excessively noisy. However, my Bare-eye, Roxi-ann was very quiet as far as screaming is concerned. She had a good vocabulary with about 20-30 words often spoken in context. She was one of the sweetest birds I have ever known and loved it when visitors showed her attention. I got her when she was 21 and she had been on a seed-only diet before she came to live with me. I was able to switch her to a healthy diet with lots of fresh veggies, whole grains, and Totally Organics pellets. Even such a good diet couldn't make up for her being on such a terrible diet for so long. She had lived with me for 10 years when she had died from a stroke.

The first Bare-eyed Cockatoo I ever worked with was a male who lived in a household with a mixed flock of parrots. If I remember correctly he was an imported bird who did not like to be handled. He particularly did not like to be groomed, and especially disliked having his pointy beak trimmed. He liked to keep it sharp, although he was not really a biter, he did like to nip to let you know that he was not happy with what was going on. I loved to watch him play with his toys ... he could chew up a block of wood faster than any bird I had ever known.   




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