Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks

by Bob D
(Bayville, NJ)

Just found this blog today and I think it's a great site with a lot of information but I have a few questions I couldn't find answers for. I have a red tailed Amazon parrot named Bruce that I have had for 3 years, Don't know its age or its sex, I was told by the first owner it was a male.

Bruce has great manors, I keep his cage door open most of the day. He will step-up and hang out on your shoulder, fly over and steel a little dinner when I am eating, and return back to his cage if you tell him to "go home".

Two months ago we adopted a 30 year old male Cockatoo. At first he was a little shy. He would stand back in his cage. After two weeks he started to warm up to my wife, and let her open his door. He would come up to her and let her pet his head and take snacks from her hand. At that point we let the two birds meet.

It took a little time, but the little bird (Bruce) started going into the Cockatoo's cage, and they got along fine. Bruce showed the cockatoo how to come out and go on top of his cage.

Now here's where it gets weird.
Last week the little bird started regurgitating and feeding the bigger bird. The cockatoo has started mounting the Amazon (makes me think that Bruce is Barbara)and the behavior of both birds is starting to change (for the worse) We can't keep them apart, Bruce won't hang out with us and makes a bee line back to the cockatoo's cage.

If both birds are out of there cages, The cockatoo will stand on top of his cage, with wings out and his crown up and scream. he won't let my wife touch him and will lunge at me if I come to close to his cage.

So the ques. is. Can a Cockatoo and a Amazon have chicks ? Should we keep the birds apart or will the bad behavior get better down the road ? Were can I get Info on a nesting box, the right size, and how to use it ?

Thank you for helping out the new guy.
Bob D from New Jersey

Comments for Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks

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Mar 25, 2011
Cockatoo and Amazon together - NO!
by: The Avian Vet

No, these two birds cannot produce chicks together.

You are not able to determine their sex from the behaviors you describe. The only way to know their behavior is with DNA.

Yes, you should keep the separate. And, yes, the behaviors are going to get worse, not better.

You should not get a nest box.

Do not allow the two birds to have physical contact. No matter how cute and sweet you think it is now, eventually one is going to hurt the other. And if it is a male cockatoo, then your Amazon is going to loose his beak. Do not allow them access to each others cage because birds are very territorial. You should not have them out at the same time and you should not allow them to play on top of each others cage. You should not allow them on top of their won cage either because this will lead to behavior problems.

Dr B

Mar 24, 2011
don't allow it
by: Anonymous


First, it is not entirely impossible they will breed & have chicks. It has already been known on a few occasions different species parrots can actually breed in captivity if given the right circumstances& if their 'need' is there but it is rare & there is no guarantee the chicks will be healthy & more than likely they will be infertile & possibly have shorter lives. There are wild parrots on very rare occasions that have also been known to breed in Australia.

Now it doesn't mean it is OK to do this just because the possibility is there. You should under no circumstances allow this to ever happen. Apart from what I have written above you will be ridiculed for letting this happen in the first place. It is unacceptable & unwise to allow different species of parrot to breed when you can easily avoid this happening. Keep the pair separated to avoid them breeding.

Mar 24, 2011
Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks
by: Linda

Okay, Bob I will answer your question honestly with no holes barred. First, the Amazon and Cockatoo are different species and cannot breed for real. Two, the Amazon will not be sexually mature until around age 6. Three, and hold onto your hat, the Cockatoo is likely to kill the Amazon in time. You said the Too is larger than the Amazon and at one time or another, Cockatoos can and do turn on the object of their affection and can either badly injure the other bird, and this includes other Toos, or kill it outright.

What you are going to have to do is decide which bird you want to keep and find a good home for the other one. Since the 30 year old Too has probably been moved from home to home for years, I would choose the Cockatoo because he needs stability and a home he can live in for a long time. Healthy Cockatoos can live up to 100 years, so unless you are VERY young, you will have to re-home him in time when you can no longer care for him.

For now, I suggest moving the bird's cages into separate rooms or only taking out one bird at a time which may work better. The Cockatoo can and will scream bloody murder, and you can try covering him up if he gets too loud. There are some training materials on this site, but you are not going to get anywhere until the other bird, whichever one, is out of the house. The Too will then settle down again. The Amazon is still young enough to adjust to a new home, so keep that in mind when deciding on which one should leave. The Too is in need of people he can trust, wholesome food like organic pellets. Feed NO people food to either bird. The Harrison's pellets are avian vet endorsed.
Switching Birds to Pellets article

Please take my advice seriously, because this situation is going to end in tragedy for the smaller bird no matter how much the Too seems to like the bird. Toos are difficult birds to breed in that they sometimes turn on their mates, so are normally kept either in separate cages or a large Macaw cage with a panel in the middle until they are ready to breed. Now is breeding season, so this will get worse not better. Neither bird will cooperate with you now or ever because they are pair bonding which leaves humans completely out of the loop.

I hope this helps, and I also suggest you take the Too to Avian Vet to make sure organs are functioning properly and no infections are present. Older birds have to be examined yearly to make sure all is well, and seed eating birds his age can and do have some real problems with their livers, etc. If this were me, I would keep the Too and find a good home, and I mean take your time to find a really good home for your Amazon.


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