cockatoo feather anatomy

by M. Taylor

We have a new cockatoo we adopted from a rescue. Although he is an over-preener, I've never seen him pluck. However, I noticed that there is a bare area under his neck and down his middle that is only exposed occasionally after he eats.. . . . this area also plumps up after he eats. Is this a natural part (division) of the feathers, or is he actually plucking without my knowledge?

I see no pores or blood droplets on the skin to indicate there were ever feathers there, so I'm very curious as to what is going on.

Marcie taylor

Comments for cockatoo feather anatomy

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Oct 13, 2010
Cockatoo feathers
by: Anonymous

I live in australia and these birds land on my balcony all the time. I believe there is a natural part running vertically down the chest because when they preen and cause a raucous at my place I notice it all the time. A good clean, shiny and even coat of feathers is what you are after. Although be warned, a lot of cockies lose their feathers from an immune condition called PSITTACINE BEAK AND FEATHER DISEASE. Sadly I see them a bit. They eventually die from it.

Just watch out for that.

Feb 07, 2010
Cockatoo bare area
by: The Avian Vet

This is a natural bare area.

Dr B

Feb 06, 2010
cockatoo feather anatomy
by: Linda

It is impossible for us to know what you are talking about without a closeup, detailed picture of the area. There should be NO bare places on any bird, so if you are seeing actual bare places under his neck and on his chest, then he is either plucking or has plucked so much in the past that the feathers will no longer grow back in. I have an Amazon who was plucked by his mate so many times around his neck, that he has permanent bare places. The feathers stop coming back in after they've been plucked too much.

My strong suggestion is to take your new bird to an Avian Vet in your area to make sure he is healthy. Rescue birds have normally come from neglectful and/or abusive homes, and bird's health and well being was not on anyone's list.

All new birds need a clean bill of health from an Avian Vet when they come into your home. This includes rescues, pet store birds, breeder birds, any kind of birds need an exam by an Avian Vet when being moved around. They are immune suppressed and can contract infections very easily at these times.

So, make an appointment and have him checked for infections both bacterial and viral, parasites--inside and outside, and you may wish to have some basic bloodwork done to make sure kidneys and liver and overall system are working properly.

Thanks for writing,

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