What Happened to Pebble the Cockatoo?

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Ali Shahid

Pebble, the renowned cockatoo, is one of the standout personalities that truly captures the attention of viewers on YouTube. Pebble’s fame stems from her one-of-a-kind way of expressing herself and her lively character, which has captured the hearts of online audiences. 

This feathered celebrity not only entertains with her playful behavior but also serves as a symbol representing the joys and challenges of caring for birds. In this article, we’ll uncover the story of her rise to stardom, the influence she wields, and the valuable insights she shares with her extensive fan base.

Pebble the Cockatoo

Pebble’s Traumatic Past

Pebble the cockatoo’s journey serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges inherent in bird ownership and the potential repercussions of neglect. Having experienced ten different homes in her 20 years, Pebble’s behavior reflects the impact of her tumultuous past. 

Kelly Van Ryckeghem, Pebble’s current caregiver and co-owner of an avian rescue operation, notes that while Pebble is generally easy-going, she occasionally exhibits frustration and resorts to using expletives—a behavior likely shaped by her exposure to negative environments in her previous residences.

The consequences of frequent relocations on birds like Pebble cannot be overstated. Changing homes can induce significant stress in pet birds, as they thrive on stability and consistency in their surroundings. 

Pebble’s past trauma becomes evident in her strong reaction to the destruction of a circular cage, an enclosure ill-suited for birds due to the absence of corners that provide a sense of security. Although the incident, captured on video, has garnered over two million views for its entertainment value, it also underscores a crucial message about the imperative need for proper bird education.

Van Ryckeghem aspires for Pebble’s story to draw attention to the essential requirement for education in bird ownership. The lack of awareness regarding the necessary care and commitment for a bird-like Pebble poses a significant challenge. 

Prospective and existing bird owners need to comprehend the intelligence, social needs, and behavioral training essential for the well-being of their feathered companions. The Owner-Bird Relationship Scale (OBRS) study further emphasizes understanding the dynamics between birds and their owners, which can be influenced by factors such as the owner’s level of education and the bird’s social support.

Pebble’s Unique Personality and Behavior

One standout trait of Pebble’s personality is her candid use of expletives, particularly when she finds herself upset or angered. This behavior is traced back to the negative environments she endured in her past homes. Kelly Van Ryckeghem, Pebble’s current caregiver, observes these moments of frustration, noting Pebble’s tendency to express herself through colorful language.

Another intriguing facet of Pebble’s behavior is witnessed in her strong reaction to the destruction of a circular cage, captured in a widely viewed video exceeding two million hits. Pebble, upon witnessing the stomping of the round cage, unleashes a flurry of expletives and appears to go “absolutely bonkers.” 

This response not only showcases her unique personality but also sheds light on the stress and discomfort experienced by birds like Pebble in circular enclosures. Birds prefer cages with corners for perching, providing a sense of security, and the absence of corners in round cages can lead to significant distress.

Beneath Pebble’s colorful language and animated reactions lies an easy-going bird who revels in being her authentic, loud, and proud self. Her individuality, showcased in various videos, serves not only to entertain a global audience but also to underscore vital issues concerning bird ownership and proper care.

Cockatoo Intelligence and Behavior

Cockatoos are known for their impressive intelligence and behaviors, captivating researchers. These birds rival great apes, corvids, and even young kids in some aspects.

Now, let’s talk about their tool use. Goffin’s cockatoos, from Indonesia, craft tools from materials like cardboard to get their food. Figaro, a standout Goffin cockatoo, gained fame for creating tools from bamboo and larch wood, showcasing adaptive thinking.

Cockatoos surprised researchers by using multiple tools together, a skill thought exclusive to primates. Picture this: cockatoos using a stick to finesse a ball into position, triggering a treat release. This shows not only clever tool use but also an understanding of how different tools work together.

Cockatoos are social learners too. Studies show they can pick up tool-using tricks from peers. Figaro takes the spotlight again as others mimic his tool-savvy moves. This social learning suggests cockatoos can grasp and reproduce complex behaviors.

Research reveals cockatoos can tackle problem-solving tasks that stump kids under eight years old. This underscores their intelligence.

Whether raised in the wild or in a lab, cockatoos show similar intelligence levels. Their smarts aren’t just a byproduct of hanging out with humans or living in captivity. Their cognitive abilities seem hardwired, not easily swayed by the environment.

In the world of cockatoos, intelligence is woven into their nature, making them truly remarkable creatures.

The Lifespan and Commitment of Owning a Cockatoo

Cockatoos are known for their extended lifespans, ranging from 20 to 40 years in the wild. In captivity, they can live even longer, averaging 50 to 70 years, with some reaching close to 100. Owning a cockatoo requires a substantial, long-term commitment lasting several decades.

The challenges of owning a cockatoo go beyond time commitment; it involves providing the care and attention these social birds need. They thrive on companionship, demanding a significant amount of time outside their cages. Neglect can lead to boisterous behavior and potential behavioral issues. Cockatoos are loud, with vocalizations reaching up to 130 dB, and they may create a mess in the house. Destructive behaviors, like chewing furniture, are common without proper supervision.

Proper care includes a spacious cage, play gyms, various toys, and textured perches to prevent foot problems. Regular veterinary check-ups are vital for disease prevention and behavioral well-being.

Pebble, a 20-year-old cockatoo, exemplifies the challenges of ownership. Having lived in 10 homes over 20 years, Pebble developed behavioral issues, including using expletives when upset. This history underscores the importance of stability and consistent care for cockatoos, emphasizing the need for potential owners to educate themselves thoroughly on the responsibilities involved in caring for these unique birds.


Pebble’s narrative has significantly influenced bird ownership education and awareness. Viral videos featuring Pebble, a cockatoo with a troubled past and a penchant for expletives, have brought attention to the essential education required for responsible bird ownership. Kelly Van Ryckeghem, Pebble’s final owner and a co-operator of an avian rescue operation, aimed to shed light on the widespread lack of knowledge regarding the responsibilities of caring for birds.

Pebble’s tale emphasizes the crucial importance of comprehending and respecting the needs of pet birds. Birds, being highly intelligent and social creatures, demand considerable attention and care. They can sense moods and strive to integrate into the household dynamics. Therefore, it becomes imperative to treat birds with respect and kindness, dedicating daily time to their well-being.

Pebble’s story also underscores the significance of stability in a bird’s life. Having experienced ten different homes over two decades, Pebble developed behavioral issues due to the lack of stability. This underscores the commitment needed from potential bird owners to provide a stable, long-term home for their feathered companions.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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