On Feb 21, 2009, tropicbreeze from noonamah Australia wrote:
I'm fortunate that in my area we don't get the huge flocks of these birds that they do down south causing so much damage to property and crops. In the north they don't seem to flock together in such large numbers, the most I've seen together here are about one to two dozen, but mostly just a few of them. They can be destructive in urban areas where they chew on timber, a veritable "avian termite". Huge flocks of them descend on grain fields and wipe out a lot of the crop. All in all, cockatoos have benefitted a lot from the arrival of Europeans in Australia.
As I said, in the north they don't seem to get to those large numbers so their damage is small scale and can easily be overlooked. One of their major impacts for me is eating my mangos. They often don't eat the whole fruit and then move on to the next. And they don't wait for the fruit to ripen. They get to them well before you start picking.
Another thing they've learned here is that during the dry season a good source of water is black polypipe irrigation. They chew into exposed irrigation lines, even if you leave water out for them.
I have a lot of African Mahoganys (Khaya senegalensis) which produce golfball sized hard shelled 'nuts' full of seed. The cockatoos like these seeds and are always chewing into them and dropping them. If they landed on your head it would make quite an impact. Apart from that fact, they often fly off with them and spread the seed everywhere. They also like chewing through palm tree fronds (mainly Carpenataria acuminata). Often you'll find 1 to 2 metre long bits of green frond on the ground.
My Raintree (Albizia lebbeck) gets a borer in the upper smaller branches which the cockatoos eat. They chew the branches through and then drop them.
Although they get quite noisy, their smaller numbers here means it's not really a problem. All in all they're quite an intelligent, 'cheeky' bird. For me, I'd prefer have them around rather than not. I can live with the little bit of damage done here, but I can understand those who are subjected to large flocks of them.
On Apr 9, 2010, DeniseKeough from New Port Richey, FL wrote:
I had never been a pet bird lover, than I met a women who had a 6 month old cockatoo and I fell in love with her and this bird. Cockatoos are the most affectionate loving birds among the parrot family. They make wonderful pets, but require a major amount of time and attention and yes they are destructive. They chew up anything and everything just for the fun of it!