Well Jodi girl answered all of your questions great!
I have an umbrella cockatoo. I also have 2 cockatiels and 2 parakeets.
We got Angel from a specialty birdie store as a baby. We also handfed Angel. It was such a neat experience to handfeed. I don't think it's a *must* to bond with the bird, either, and we didn't plan to handfeed, we were just looking at umbrellas at the time, but we came upon our Angel and we knew he was ours!!!! We wouldn't have done it any other way now. He is 1 years old already! Oh, and since you asked about DNA testing, I call Angel a he, but we don't know yet, we haven't had him tested yet, but like Jodi said, most places I have seen are about $30-35. But there were a few I asked that were over a $100!
The rosebrested too's are so pretty! I don't think I have seen one in person before!!!
If you want a cuddly bird...umbrella's are very lovable too! hehe! But, can also be very demanding as well. They are such silly guys, too. Love to play and Angel would love to have his head scratched alllll day long!
When we went to the vet, everybody just had to come in and see him and give him birdie kisses, he was on cloud 9, thinking he was the man! He got shy at first then he came out of his cage and wouldn't go back in! He is very lovable.
I love the big cages as well. We have a big California cage for Angel. My tiels and keets have pretty big cages as well.
As for food, too's (umbrellas anyway) can be picky! LOL! He was started on pellets while being weaned. Zupreem is a good brand. He was started on Pretty Bird brand when we brought him home, then he started getting tired of his food and throwing it everywhere, lol. At one point he decided he didn't want to eat anything we put in there, except dried bannana chips!!
We luckily got Zupreem and he loved it and forgot about his bannana chip addiction, so to speak! So, we tried Zupreem and we rotate. Kaytee pellets, LaFebers and Harrisons are great pellets also. He gets fruits and veggies, although my guy seems to have a sweet tooth, likes fruit more, lol. He likes meat and usually gets a sample of our meat dish we have at dinner. He gets a dried fruit mix with nuts, and likes pastas. He hates raisins, LOL. Too's can be picky burds! Oh well, more raisins for my chinnie, Bailey! lol! I asked my vet what exactly Angel could eat. He said basically anything we eat, except chocolate of course, caffiene, alcohol, and avocados. Avocados are very toxic to birds.
Like you mentioned, too's CAN be screamers, yup it's true. Angel isn't so bad, but definately has his moments! I have a problem right now, that when my dogs are playing and running around near him, he screams and just HATES it! And he hates the vacuum cleaner, too!
When he wants attention, he will yell sometimes. But all day today, it has been a quiet day here at the house and he hasn't made a peep. It all depends.
Do you want to hear something weird about those color perches? I thought they were great, I got a blue one for Angel. He loved it so much.After a few weeks, I noticed his feathers turning blue!?!?! I got worried and told the girl at the store we got him from and she said to take it out and get him a natural wood perch, which he loves. It's a huge perch. I don't know what brand it was, though, and it probably would've been ok, but I was freaked when I saw him turning blue from it! My cockatiels and parakeets have pink ones and their feathers seem to be fine, I think the one I got them was Polly's Pastels.
About books, I have one book about each animal I have! LOL! It's a great thing, one whole book shelf is animals and one book on first aid, etc. I would go look at Barnes and Noble for example, or Books a Million, they both have a whole little animal section, tons of books!!!
Great website suggestion Jodi! I was thinking the same thing!
Hope I could help some!!!