by Ken Jr. and Tanya
(Lancaster, PA)

AnnaBelle - Umbrella Cockatoo

AnnaBelle - Umbrella Cockatoo

Okay-my step-mom's bird is an Umbrella Cockatoo, AnnaBelle, and she is......10 years old....she will either sit on her perch/stand thing, or sit on my step-mom/me and will start panting. She starts panting and her whole body is "jumping." What is the deal with this? We were told by AnnaBelle's vet that it was a sexual thing, and I have also heard that it isn't a sexual thing. Can you please clear this up for us.


Ken Jr. and Tanya

Comments for Panting?!

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Jan 05, 2010
Reply To Linda
by: Tanya

Linda, thank you for your input, I did have the bird tested, and my Too is a female. But thank you for the information; I will pass it on to my friend who has a Male Too-Sydney! :)

Jan 05, 2010
by: Linda

Well, for a male Too of this age, this could be sexual response to his human lady friend. It's difficult to tell much more than that from the description. If the Too's eyes are a dark black, then this is a male as the female's eyes have a bit of orange/red tint to them.

If bird is named Annabelle, then you may want to change it to something sounding similar except for a male.

The only other thing I can think of is if your Mother-In-Law wears perfume. Perfume will kill parrots from the large to the small sizes. Any type of room deoderizer, whether a scented candle or one of the plug in varieties will also kill birds. Scented dryer sheets that perfume clothing are also toxic as are many other chemicals.

From the picture, this bird appears to be a male, and the older males will attach to the female human with whom they have a bonded relationship. Make sure bird is kept off shoulders and away from face as this can lead to some very nasty injuries to the face and eyes. A male who is sexually bonded with a human female will be very jealous of her. A behavior that can happen is called "Displaced Aggression" and will be exhibited when bird is on shoulder and the object of his love is talking to someone else. The bird will become agitated with the other person, and this includes phone calls, and will lash out at the closest person which will be the object of his or her love. People have lost eyes because of this displaced aggression. The bird's do not understand why they would have done such a thing, and is just part of dealing with a wild animal in captivity.

Most people don't understand that the parrots are still wild animals regardless of whether they were born and handfed here. They are NOT domesticated and will not become domesticated any time soon, so they resort to some wild behaviors plus a few they've come up with by being in captivity.

Thanks for writing, and make sure your family treats this Too as the wild bird he is at heart to avoid accidents and injuries in the future. Also, good luck, changing her name to a his name if this is, in fact, a male. Just remember the really dark black eyes are males, and the females have a bit of a reddish/orange tint to their eyes.


Jan 05, 2010
Bird panting
by: The Vet

My guess is that this is a sexual behavior. It is important that your family not stimulate this kind of behavior. Petting any place below the neck will be a stimulus. This will potentially cause egg laying and unpredictable behavior changes, such as aggression and biting.

I am only guessing since I have not seen your bird do this, but the most likely explanation is sexual stimulation. If the behavior does not happen any time other than when being petted or being with these people. But if the behavior is happening while she is alone in the cage, it could be something else.

In either case, you should have her examined by an avian veterinarian to be sure she is OK, especially to see if she is with egg. This could be dangerous, especially if she is not on a pellet diet like Harrison's.

Dr B

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