Cockatoos – learning about a few of the species

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo bird holding and eating a nut
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By request from one of our Facebook fans, Teresa – we will start off talking about the Goffin cockatoo. Known formally as the Tanimbar Corella. These adorable little birds are about 12 inches long from head to tail.

The males weigh about 300 g (about 10 oz) and the females weigh about 50 g less. Like many other cockatoos they have a crest they raise and lower on top their head. As Cockatoos go, this one is a quieter Cockatoo which makes it a terrific pet. You have to be careful what you do in front of these birds like opening the cage latch because they will watch it and mimic it rather quickly.

Sulfur Crested Cockatoos come in two flavors big (Greater) and small (Lesser). The Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoo is a big bird and grows from 18 to 22 inches long and weights as much as 2 pounds (about 900 g).

The Lesser are Crescent Cockatoos and are normally about 13 to 15 inches long. They can live for 70 to 80 years and although they can be very affectionate, they may be quite vocal. When they are raised as hand fed babies and if their owners lavish lots of attention on them over their lifetime they can be great pets capable of learning how to talk and learn tricks while providing lots of fun.

The Long-billed Corella got quite a few comments on our Facebook fan page about the length of its beak. People were concerned that it’s beak needed trimming – that’s why they are called Long-billed Corellas.

You don’t see them as pets in the United States much but they’re quite popular in Australia and actually considered one of the best talkers of the Cockatoo family. Found in South Eastern Australia through Western Victoria. They are generally considered a pest of grain crops and fruit trees and permits are sometime issued to allow the hunting of these birds.

The Blue Eyed Cockatoo is sadly rare in the wild and in captivity and is now classified as endangered species. Not be confused with the Bared Eyed cockatoo, also known as a little Corella.

They are generally 18 to 20 inches long and weigh between 500 and 570 g (18 and 20 ounces) Blue-eyed Cockatoos have zygodactyl grey feet (the first and fourth toes of each foot are directed backward and the second and third forward. This allows the Blue-eyed Cockatoo to hold objects and bring food to its beak while standing on the other foot).

Like most Cockatoos they are pretty noisy and destructive so if you’re considering one as a pet, they need a lot of chew toys, a lot of wood branches and toys that make them work for food to keep them mentally stimulated. They generally live about 40 years in captivity and about 50 to 60 years in the wild.

Bare-eyed Cockatoos get mixed reviews from people because of their bare eye patch. They can make great pets and they tend to be more independent than the Umbrella cockatoos.

This makes them less demanding and they may be quite possibly less noisy. Bare-eyed Cockatoos grow to total length of about 15 inches which is a smidge larger than the Goffin cockatoo. If you’re thinking of a Cockatoo for a pet, the Bare-eyed Cockatoo would make a great candidate.

The Black Palm Cockatoo is big – it will reach average length of about 24 inches with a wingspan as much as 15 inches. They can weigh as much as 1100 g (about 2 1/2 pounds) have a huge massive upper beak considerably larger with males than with females.

These birds are considered one of the most beautiful of all the Cockatoos and although they are fact black in color they have a powder down which coats the glossy beak and gives the black feathers a grayish cast. In spite of their size they are docile, loving and affectionate and make great pets.

They have a wide range of vocalizations and also communicate in unique ways. In the wild they will stomp on a perch to make noise and uses sticks or nuts to drum loudly to attract a mate.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos like the Black Palm Cockatoo are large at about 24 inches long. They are sexually dimorphic meaning the males are totally black except for prominent red band on their tails. The slightly smaller females have a yellow barring on their chest contrasting with their all-black bodies.

The yellow barring grades to red spots on their crest. Their cheeks and wings have yellow-orange stripes. Because are so beautiful they are very attractive and like many Australian cockatoos are threatened by illegal smuggling.

They have a high demand but many die in transit than are actually sold. These birds are very expensive and can be bought anywhere between $15-$40,000 so you don’t see a lot of them as pets. We’re not sure how good they are as pets so if anybody has one let us know – we’d like to share.

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written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote