Cockatoos Bite

Can Cockatoos Bite Your Finger Off? Your Question Is Answered!

We know that cockatoos are sweet, attractive, and have fantastic qualities. When we bring cockatoos to our home for the first time, you may have many doubts about your bird, Especially about their habitat, behavior, and diet. Interacting with the bird will be the primary thing when we own a bird. What if cockatoos bite or respond aggressively to you?

Many birds have a habit of biting. It is just their way of expressing their emotions. In the case of cockatoos, they are over-stimulated and loaded with behaviors, sometimes aggressive. They look cute and humble, but do they hurt you? Or can they bite your finger off?  If you have a cockatoo at home, you might be interested to know how hard they can bite and why they do so. This article will let you know all about this. 

How Hard Can Cockatoos Bite?

Well, biting is an expected behavior in every animal. Very few birds can bite hard enough to take your finger off. Cockatoos are not that aggressive about taking off your fingers. Generally, cockatoos can cause severe injury and nerve damage when they bite an adult’s finger. They can hurt you badly if they are extremely angry. There can be many reasons for the behavioral change of cockatoos.

 Cockatoos And Their Hard Bites

It mainly depends on how they are getting treated. If you notice that your bird is showing signs of anger or such emotions, there is something wrong with them. 

Even though cockatoos are not as aggressive as other birds, we cannot avoid the fact that the bite strength of cockatoos is 350 PSI which is good enough to crack a nut and toys. They can tear the flesh of humans but can not take off the fingers completely. No matter if the cockatoos can’t bite the finger off but they are capable of causing severe damage.

It is always better to keep away children from an aggressive cockatoo because they can break a child’s finger just by biting it. We can stop the cockatoo’s biting but before training, it is important to know the reason why they bite. 

Why do Cockatoos bite?

Cockatoos are affectionate and loving parrots. Generally, cockatoos bite when they become aggressive or scared. Like others, they also do it for self-protection and bite on the fingers of the caretaker when they are irritated with something or for desired food.

Let us find out the reasons why cockatoos frequently bite.

  • Fear: your bird can bite out of fear. Even if we feed parrots like babies, they can develop a fear of humans and other animals. You can make your birds fearless by socializing them clearly and properly. If you bring cockatoos as adults, several factors encourage them to bite. Sometimes a well-socialized bird can become frightened and bite due to various reasons. Your bird will not be aware of your intention, whether it is good or bad, it will react when they feel uncomfortable. You can solve this by building a bond with them with love and care.
  • If they are injured: if your bird is already injured, it will refuse to come in contact with you. As a result, they will stay away and manage to stay alone. They may bite you if you try to catch them in this condition.
  • Aggression – if you notice that your bird is not playing, climbing, attempting to preen, or avoiding eating, then they are aggressive about something. Aggression in parrots can be a serious matter if you cannot identify the reason. The main cause for that can be territoriality, stress, lack of mental stimulation, hormonal fluxes, or dominance issues. If your bird is aggressive it may bite you hard.
  • When they don’t trust you: Cockatoos can remember people and their behavior. When you bring a cockatoo home, everyone will be strangers to them. If you fail to build trust with them they show negative responses. These birds attack when they don’t trust you or cannot recognize people. 

What happens when a cockatoo bites you?

We cannot avoid their biting because it can be dangerous. As we have mentioned above, cockatoos can tear human flesh. If the injury is large you have to visit the emergency department to stitch the wound.

Cockatoo bite

Cockatoo’s bite can range from annoying to painful depending on the depth of the wound. It is important to know the risk associated with the biting of cockatoos so that you can seek proper treatment. If it is not properly treated, the wound can become an infection or serious damage.

By seeking medical attention you can minimize the risk of having a permanent disability. One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick is by washing your hands. If you continuously interact with your cockatoos or get wounded by them, wash your hands thoroughly with running water using a bar of soap. 

Ways to deal with your aggressive cockatoo


✅ Identify the moment when your cockatoo is going to show aggressive behavior. When you notice such behavior, step back and don’t go near the cage. This can help to calm down your bird.

✅ If your cockatoos bite too frequently, keep changing their location. This will teach your cockatoo that aggressive behavior can lead to other consequences such as isolation. 

✅ Socialization is an effective way to deal with aggressive birds. They won’t be aggressive if they build a friendly bond with you and your family members. Spend quality time with them by engaging in different activities such as playing, eating, listening to songs together, showering, and teaching them to repeat words or phrases. 

✅ Reward good behavior with treats. Cockatoos are fans of treats. They behave properly when they are treated with their favorite food items such as fruits, seeds, nuts, coconut, or vegetables. Positive reinforcement works with almost every animal. So, you can apply it to your cockatoos. 

✅ Never yell or beat your aggressive cockatoos. You have to act calm and don’t show any behavior which frightens your bird. Your cockatoo will indulge in mad behavior if they get a negative reaction from you. 

Final Thoughts

We love our birds and provide them with all the requirements, but sometimes it needs a fair bit of training. Changes around them can make them aggressive, and as a result, they show negative behavior like biting. All you have to do is take care of your bird with love and provide for its needs. Make them feel like they are part of your family, not just a pet.

Whatever tip we have mentioned in the article will help you to understand your cockatoos and train them accordingly. The behavior of your cockatoos will be based on how you treat them. 

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