It’s easy to think of cockatoos as the bad boys of the sky, with their pompadour-like plumage jutting up above their heads. Cockatoos would make terrible poker players, as these crests spike up high when they are alarmed, and flatten down when they feel comfortable or aggressive. But underneath the tough, delinquent exterior, cockatoos are sweethearts who just need a little love. Or maybe a lot. A lot of love.

An expressive bird is good when you’re getting to know each other. Cockatoos can be needy, but they’re up-front about it. If you or your child can spare the time, cockatoos might be a good species for a novice birder looking for a challenge.