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Origin: Austrailia and South East Asia

Lifespan: 60 - 80 years in captivity depending on the species

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All Cockatoos are characterised by their mobile crest - some large and beautifully coloured, others barely noticeable. Cockatoos were the first parrots to be kept as pets - by the aboriginal people in Australia around 10,000 years ago. Some of the popular species are:-

Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) About 18 inches in size. This cockatoo has the largest crest. Hand reared umbrellas are usually very gentle and loving, but care must be taken to rear them with discipline and certain amount of independence. This way they do not become too demanding or noisy. These cockatoos are well known for their ability to make a great deal of noise. Females in this species have reddish eyes.


Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
About 20 inches in size. Light shade of pink makes this a really beautiful bird. Like umbrellas hand reared babies make exceptional pets. Hand reared babies can be very demanding, so strict regime of discipline and training should be adhered to form the start. Moluccans have a reputation for being extremely noisy and have a very high volume.


Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)
This cockatoo comes in three different sizes Lesser (12-13 inches in size), Medium (about 17-18 inches) and Greater (about 20 inches). Hand reared babies of this species make excellent pets. Medium and Greater can be extremely demanding and can be very noisy. Species like Grater can also be very destructive.



Citron Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua citrinocristata) This species is closely related to Lesser Sulphur crested. The only difference between the two species is that Citron Crested has an orange crest instead of bright yellow of Lesser. Most of the information about this species is similar to that of Sulphur Crested cockatoo.





Galah or Roseate Cockatoo (Eolophus roseicapillus) About 14 inches in size. This is one of the most abundant of cockatoos in the wild. One of the quietest of all the cockatoo species and its beautiful rose pink plumage makes it (in our opinion) the best companion cockatoo. Females of this species have pinkish red irides, when inspected in good light.



A few other so called white cockatoos available to bird keepers are Ducorp’s (Cacatua Ducorpsii), Goffin’s (Cacatua goffini) and Bare Eyed Cockatoo (Cacatua sanguinea).

Ducorp's Cockatoo
Goffin's Cockatoo
Bare Eyed Cockatoo

Most Black Cockatoos are not readily available to bird keepers and some of them are highly endangered so every effort should be made to breed and increase their numbers.

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