Want a bird that will give you all their love and more? Here is everything you need to know about the cockatoo!
Originating in Australia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands, the cockatoo is the most monochromatic of all the parrot breeds. Unlike their colorful, large parrot cousins, cockatoos have distinctive white, black, grey, or pink feathers. Their more muted colors are caused by a lack of a special texture known as Dyck texture in their feathers.
Don’t let their bland coloring fool you, though; cockatoos have very colorful personalities. As a breed, they are known for being smart, curious, and very loving. So loving, in fact, cockatoos are often called “love sponges”! They want to be around their humans 24/7 and enjoy nothing more than a good cuddle with their favorite human.
While this loving personality can be wonderful, they can become quite upset and destructive if they do not receive enough attention. Cockatoos who do not feel that their emotional needs are being met will scream, engage in feather plucking, and become aggressive. Due to this, even though they are popular pets, they are recommended for highly experienced bird owners only.
All cockatoo species besides the cockatiel are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) including: Tanimbar corella (Cacatua goffiniana), red-vented cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea) and palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) to discourage wild-caught cockatoos being sold into captivity. The cockatiel subspecies, the white cockatoo (sulphur-crested cockatoo- cacatua galerita- and Major Mitchell’s cockatoo), and the Goffin’s cockatoo are the most popular pets.
Cockatoos are very vocal birds. They are able to learn some words but do not have the some ability to mimic human speech that other parrots have. Instead of using words to communicate, cockatoos squawk, often accompanied with loud screaming. You can also tell the bird’s mood by the position of its crest.
- Raised crest: Cockatoo is excited, alert, or agitated
- Lowered crest: Cockatoo is feeling submissive or moving around
- Relaxed crest: Cockatoo is eating, rest, or otherwise content
If you’re looking for a bird that will give you all their love and more, the cockatoo is for you!