A Beginner’s Guide to The Cockatoo

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The Cockatoo GuideIf you want a friend for life, then you should turn your attention to the Cockatoo Bird.

Though they are high maintenance and want constant cuddles, they are a great pet for those who love birds and a bit of noise.

With over 21 species of the cockatoo in the world, it can get a little confusing on which one to pick.

Throughout this article, we are going to discuss a range of different species of the Cockatoo, and all the facts you need to know if you are thinking of purchasing one.

Umbrella Cockatoo/White-Crested Cockatoo/White Cockatoo

White cockatoo perching on a branch

Appearance – Umbrella Cockatoos are mostly white, with a white crest and a bright yellow patch on the inner side of the wings
Personality – Loving, strong-willed, assertive. The White Cockatoos are boss.
Temperament – White-Crested Cockatoos are affectionate, tame, and cuddly
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Alba

Moluccan Cockatoo

Moluccan cockatoo perch on a branch

Appearance – Moluccan Cockatoos are white with a pink glow, feathers under the wings are yellow and feathers on the crest are bright orange
Personality – Can be loving and tame but can revert to bad temperament
Temperament – Moluccan Cockatoos can be aggressive, excessive screaming, feather plucking
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Moluccensis

Goffin’s Cockatoo

Goffin's Cockatoo bird standing to side isolated on white background

Appearance – White in color with a rim of pink-orange feathers around the bill and yellow feathers under the wings
Personality – Friendly, fiercely loyal to one owner, enjoys learning
Temperament – Hyperactive, loves to scream, just like their cousins the Moluccans
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Goffini

Black Palm Cockatoo

Black palm cockatoo perching on a branch

Appearance – Black Palm Cockatoos have black feathers with red facial marks
Personality – Stubborn, assertive, dominant
Temperament – Not affectionate and hard to tame (so not a fan of bird cages)
Cockatoo Species – Proboscriger Atterimus

Galah Cockatoo/Pink Cockatoo/Rose-Breasted Cockatoo

Rose-breasted Cockatoo hung on branch

Appearance – Galah Cockatoos have bright pink feathers on their chests, bellies, and lower half of the face. Pinkish-white crests and gray back
Personality – Intelligent, loving, curious, the Pink Cockatoo is a playful one
Temperament – affectionate and friendly, the Rose-Breasted Cockatoos make for a great pet (especially when they have another Pink Cockatoo to talk to)
Cockatoo Species – Eolophus Roseicapilla

Black Cockatoo

A female red tailed black cockatoo is perched on a branch

Appearance – Black Cockatoos have black feathers and a red tail
Personality – Intelligent, friendly, loving
Temperament – Good with other birds, loyal to their owner, loud
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Galerita

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo spreading its wing isolated on white background

Appearance – White feathers, yellow crest and underwings, and a black bill and feet
Personality – Highly intelligent, social, friendly
Temperament – Extremely loud, hyperactive, does better in parks or zoos than homes
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Galerita

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Major Mitchell Cockatoo perch on a branch with plants on the background

Appearance – Major Mitchell Cockatoos have soft pink feathers with white wings, orange, and yellow crest
Personality – Social, loving, intelligent but usually not owned as a pet
Temperament – Tame, affectionate, hyperactive
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Leadbeateri

Red Tailed Black Cockatoo (also called Philippine Cockatoo)

A female red tailed black cockatoo is perched on a branch

Appearance – Red Tailed Black Cockatoos have black feathers with a red tail and grey beak
Personality – Independent, curious, intelligent
Temperament – Philippine Cockatoos are noisy and raucous
Cockatoo Species – Calyptorhynchus Banksii

Bare-Eyed Cockatoo

A Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is perched on a branch to rest in the shadows on a tree

Appearance – Bare-Eyed Cockatoos have white feathers with salmon pink faces and grey patches around their eyes
Personality – Social, loving, placid
Temperament – goofy, playful, tame
Cockatoo Species – Cacatua Sanguinea

Cockatoo vs. Parrots

Whilst the Cockatoo can be referred to as a Parrot, they stand out on their own. The difference between a Cockatoo and a Parrot include:


Cockatoos are a type of Parrot that belongs to the family of Cacatuide.

There are 21 distinct species of seven genera including the Cacatua.

Though we didn’t cover all, there are still more cockatoos (in the multiple different species) such as the Salmon-Crested cockatoo, Yellow-Crested Cockatoo (also known as Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo), Red-Vented cockatoo, Gang-Gang Cockatoo, and a few more.

Cockatoos are native to Australia and are comparatively larger than parrots.


Parrots include many types of birds in the Order of Psittaciformesviz.

Whilst this does include Cockatoos, it also includes Parakeets, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Macaws, and more.

The Parrots themselves tend to be smaller than Cockatoos and prefer more tropical climates.

Shake Your Tail Feathers: This Pet Cockatoo is Needy

If you want a Cockatoo, then be prepared because these birds are needy little things.

The best part?

All they want is cuddles.

They struggle to understand that you have a life beyond the confines of cuddling and you’ll most likely never get them to understand that.

If you don’t meet your bird’s needs, then they can become unsettled and will likely scream non-stop, pluck out their feathers, and in some cases, can become aggressive.

Cockatoo Price and Cockatoo for Sale

Cockatoo prices vary depending on the breed you want to buy, but the majority sit around $1000-$3000 USD.

If you are looking to purchase a Cockatoo, then a few places to look at include:

Golden Cockatoo

Who Benefits from Owning a Cockatoo Species?

If you like a quiet and calm home environment, then a Cockatoo isn’t for you.

However, if you are someone who loves a bit of noise (a lot, I should say) and some laughs, then this bird could be your best friend.

They aren’t only beautiful in appearance, but they are highly intelligent and loving, not to mention they are always doing something funny.

6 Facts You Didn’t Know About This Bird Species

  1. Hand-fed Cockatoos are very affectionate
  2. Can be prone to obesity
  3. Have a three-way bite
  4. Cockatoos are extremely loud
  5. They get bored easily
  6. This delightful bird eats fruit, nuts, seeds, and insects

Cockatoo Life Span

Have you ever wanted a pet that would like for as long as you?

Well, with the Cockatoo, you can!

A Cockatoo’s lifespan is 50-70 years, with some birds reaching 100 years!

5 Tips for Owning Cockatoo Birds

TIP # 1 – Give them lots of cuddles

TIP #2 – Hand-feed them, as this makes them more placid

TIP #3 – Let them roam the house for at least a few hours a day

TIP #4 – Get them a swing and a perch in their cage

TIP #5 – Get them something to chew so they don’t pluck their feathers out

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  • martin thorne says:

    Which species is ideal for a first time buyer

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