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We meet on the first Tuesday of every month from
at the
Serendipity Adult Day Services

3550 East 20th Ave

(We love your birds, but please don't bring them to our meetings. We usually have a bird of the month already attending. Thanks!)

Bird of the Month
July 2006

Charlie, the Molucan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
By ABC members Ann Taylor and Gregory Wilkie

Molucan Cockatoo Characteristics
Good With Children
Very Loud (135 dB)
Large 18 - 22 inches
Mild, even personality
Caution advised due to size

“H e l l o o o o!”  That’s Charlie’s favorite phrase and greeting to anyone she sees.  Charlie is a unique cockatoo in many ways and we keep learning more about her the more we are around her.  For example, until the 2005 Christmas Season, we believed Charlie was a male.  Charlie had all of the typical signs of being a male cockatoo – a dark-colored eye and hormonal behavior in the Spring.  It wasn’t until the 2005 Christmas Season , when Charlie laid three eggs in 96 hours that we realized Charlie’s true gender!  Using a full-spectrum light to view Charlie’s eyes, we were amazed to see the dark chocolate color typical of a female cockatoo.  What a surprise for us!  And we have a former breeder program male, wild-caught Molucan also!  Keep those cages separated!
Molucan, or salmon-crested, or Seram cockatoos are the largest of the “white” cockatoos.  The Molucan Cockatoo is endemic to Seram and surrounding islands, which are located in the Indonesian archipelago (island chain) also known as the Moluccas, Maluku or Spice Islands. Breeding populations are now found only on the island of Seram, as rural development has destroyed breeding populations on the smaller islands.  Molucans have become one of the most popular cockatoos in captivity, and are also one of the most common parrots seen in parrot rescues today.  Molucans are highly intelligent and inquisitive, require a lot of attention and they may vocalize loudly in the morning or evening which is normal.
Charlie came into our flock approximately three years ago, from a home that had over 18 exotic birds, three dogs, and five (human) boys between the ages of 8 and 15.  As a result, Charlie is a mix of different behaviors that can have you laughing until you cry; or crying to have her stop the annoying behaviors. 
Charlie is a hand-raised, domestically bred Molucan cockatoo.  Charlie is the epitome of the “Velcro” cockatoo, enjoying snuggles and scritches and becoming “boneless” with all of the attention.  She was lovingly reared and socialized by her former owners.  Why then, was Charlie relinquished to us?  Because of her piercing (135 decibels) scream and extremely “salty” language.  Charlie can curse with the best of sailors and construction workers making their ears turn red!  Ann and I practice behavior modeling around our flock and that includes being VERY careful of what we say while in our flock’s presence.  We are proud to say that Charlie’s verbal outbursts have dropped off and that she is a welcomed member of our household and flock.


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The Alaska Bird Club • P.O. Box 101825 • Anchorage AK 99510