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.
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).
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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