Naked Cockatoo Knows Grief. He’s Also A King Who Can Sing.

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Recovering from a grief-filled tragedy is tough for anyone, even this naked cockatoo. DuCorps parrot King O ripped all his feathers out after his first owner died. He now lives at Best Friends Parrot Garden, and loves to sing. Formerly known as Ophelia, King O only knew his one loving home, even if his owner didn't know he was a boy. Like many birds who lose their homes, King O has been living at Best Friends for a few years now, still hoping that someone will fall in love with his singing nakedness.

When a bird starts plucking out feathers, it becomes an addiction which is difficult to stop. Even though King O seems happy in the video below, he now has that one bad habit, like a kid who chews down fingernails or a young guy who starts smoking. If you have a bird that has a plucking problem, it may not be anything but a bad  habit. Don't confuse plucking with self-mutilation, which is a much more serious illness.

Here is a message from a fan: I had the privilege of visiting King O at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, this past spring. Best Friends is an amazing place and does incredible work for birds like King O and others. Please visit their website at bestfriends.org.


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ParrotShop is a news and media website that collects stories, information and resources from around the web. Michaela Kennedy, online publisher and owner of the website, researches birds, both captive and in the wild, in order to support parrot rescues, wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, and promote awareness for parrots in need. Please visit and post comments and questions about parrot behavior, nutrition, and any other questions you may have about birds in our world. Thank you for visiting, and come back often!

104 Comments to Naked Cockatoo Knows Grief. He’s Also A King Who Can Sing.

  1. This should be a reminder to all bird owners that bonding is extremely important and that unlike human beings birds have limited coping skills to relieve anxiety and stress their love is unconditional. Love them and they will love you back.

  2. I have a naked female Eclectus I adopted and although she doesn’t talk like they said she could, she don’t dance or do anything special and she has damaged her feather follicles so she will never re-feather, she is by the most loveable of all my birds.

  3. I understand plucking and have had birds who had plucked for so long that the feathers would no longer grow. What I don’t understand is – how was this bird able to pluck his own head? Generally when a birds head is plucked it’s been done by another bird, a flock-mate.

  4. He is so awesome. Love him. I have a B/G Macaw that was bald when her owners gave her up. She’s 24yrs old and was left in her cage for 10yrs. with nothing and she had plucked for so long her skin is calloused over and now she will never have feathers on her body. She is so much fun though. Talks up a storm and loves to argue with me.

  5. Penny Patch-Bartnicki. I have a beautiful male eclectus that plugs and barbs he is a rescue I love him to death and think he’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Would love to see a picture of your lady

  6. For those of you commenting that he’s sick and there’s no way he can pull out his head feathers-yes, he can. He uses his FEET. $#%&!@*atoos chew gaping holes in their own flesh, I don’t see why it’s so hard to believe that some pluck their head feathers. I met King O at Best Friends last summer. He was exactly like what you see in his videos. I encourage everyone who loves animals to visit and support Best Friends!

  7. Christine Kabashi

    Can I suggest vics vapour rub smeared very thickly on him? It worked for my macaw who is now full feathered. How does he pluck his head feathers? Is another bird overpreening him?

  8. Christine Kabashi

    ah I read some comments and now I understand about the head, I do not think he seems ill at all, in fine voice like that!! Love him to bits, try the vics!

  9. The ingredients in Vick’s Vaporub are:

    5.26% Camphor
    2.82% Menthol
    0.09% Thymol
    1.33% Oils of Eucalyptus
    0.69% Nutmeg
    0.44% Cedar Leaf
    4.68% Turpentine
    100% Petrolatum q.s.

    We are glad that your macaw was cured of his plucking habit. Officially, we would not recommend any products on a bird without an avian specialist’s opinion first.

  10. I have a G2 that use to pluck on her head and neck and she would use her claws to do it very easily. My little girl reminds me a lot of King O…. Full of life and so silly

  11. $#%&!@*atoos are very sentive breeds and will pluck or chew their feathers. I bought a 18 year old Sulfer Crested male 3 years ago that does not deal with being left alone. Toys, large cage, other birds, nothing has stopped it other than me being home 24/7. He was abandon once in his life and the fear of it happening again has never left him. And they DO pull out their own head feathers. I have watched mine use his feet to pull them down to his beak.

  12. They will use their feet to pull the feathers. Mine does not pluck but he does chew. I have watching him pull his feathers down to his beak with his feet.

  13. Oh no! Poor birds. I saw many plucked guys, but I’ve never seen such a bald head. But he still cannot get these little feathers neither with his beak nor his feet. Hope he finds a loving home again.

  14. separation anxiety is something birds especially $#%&!@*atoos suffer from and plucking as well as screaming is something the birds do and yes it becomes a habit….i have a maximillian who thankfully only plucks when i am away on training programmes but never when im just doing my daily job

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Jacque. I have a friend here in New England with a cockatoo that does the same thing.

  15. This is amazing, and an example of even plucking parrots are beautiful. They all have potential and it is up to us to see it beyond the physical beauty. They are all so beautiful in their own way.

  16. Nice to seem the little fella feeling better. One of my parrots was attacked by some bigger birds and she’s never really got over it. She has good days and bad days. On bad days we play and she had treats to keep her busy, its not easy but its worth it when you see them happy at last.

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