Top 15 Types Of Cockatoo Birds (with Photos)

The world of avian diversity never ceases to amaze, and the realm of cockatoo birds is no exception. With their striking plumage and distinctive crests, these majestic creatures have captivated the attention of bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

From the iconic Sulphur-crested Cockatoo to the enigmatic Palm Cockatoo, each species boasts its unique characteristics and charms. But what lies beyond their vibrant appearances?

Join us as we embark on a journey through the fascinating world of cockatoo birds, uncovering the secrets behind their behavior, habitat, and conservation status.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

white parrot with yellow crest

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, scientifically known as Cacatua galerita, is a large and majestic bird native to Australia. This species is widely recognized for its striking appearance, with its bright white plumage and a prominent yellow crest on its head.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo exhibits several interesting behavioral traits. They are highly social birds and often form large flocks, which can consist of hundreds of individuals. These flocks engage in various activities such as feeding, roosting, and even bathing together.

In terms of habitat, these cockatoos are adaptable and can be found in a range of environments including forests, woodlands, and even urban areas. They have a diverse diet, feeding on a variety of foods including seeds, fruits, flowers, insects, and even bark.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo's ability to adapt to different habitats and its varied diet make it a successful species in its native Australia.

Rose-breasted Cockatoo

colorful parrot with pink crest

The Rose-breasted Cockatoo, scientifically known as Eolophus roseicapilla, is a stunning and highly intelligent bird species endemic to Australia. With its vibrant pink crest and distinct rose-colored breast, this cockatoo is easily recognizable. One of its unique characteristics is its ability to mimic sounds and human speech, making it a popular choice among pet bird enthusiasts.

In the wild, these cockatoos primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and insects. They are known to form large flocks and are social birds that engage in communal roosting. Breeding habits of the Rose-breasted Cockatoo involve monogamous pairs that build nests in tree hollows. The female usually lays 2 to 3 eggs and both parents take part in incubation and raising the chicks.

This species is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, but habitat loss and illegal capture for the pet trade pose significant threats to its population.

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

colorful australian cockatoo species

Continuing our exploration of the diverse world of cockatoo birds, we now turn our attention to Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, a captivating species known for its striking appearance and fascinating behaviors.

Major Mitchell's cockatoo, also known as the Leadbeater's cockatoo, is a beautiful and unique species of cockatoo native to Australia. With its soft pink and white feathers, the Major Mitchell's cockatoo stands out among other cockatoo species. It has a regal crest on its head and a strong beak adapted for cracking open nuts and seeds.

These cockatoos are highly social birds, often seen in large flocks flying together in search of food. They are also known for their elaborate courtship displays, where they perform intricate dances and vocalizations to attract a mate.

Major Mitchell's cockatoos are not only visually stunning but also exhibit complex behaviors that make them a fascinating species to study.

Palm Cockatoo

rare australian bird species

Palm Cockatoo, scientifically known as Probosciger aterrimus, is a large and distinctive species of cockatoo, native to the tropical rainforests of New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. Known for its unique physical characteristics, the Palm Cockatoo is the largest black cockatoo species, measuring around 55 to 60 centimeters in length. It is easily recognizable by its large dark grey or black body, striking red patch on its face, and a large crest on its head.

Breeding habits of the Palm Cockatoo are fascinating. They form monogamous pairs that maintain long-term partnerships. Mating rituals involve elaborate displays, where males create loud drumming sounds by using a stick to hit a hollow tree trunk. This behavior, along with their ability to shape tools, is unique among birds. Females lay a single egg in a tree cavity, which they incubate for approximately 30 days. Once hatched, both parents take turns feeding the chick until it becomes independent.

The Palm Cockatoo's remarkable breeding habits and physical characteristics contribute to its allure and intrigue within the avian world.

Moluccan Cockatoo

colorful and social parrot

Native to the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia, the Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) is a captivating and highly sought-after species known for its vibrant plumage and charismatic personality. These large white cockatoos are adorned with a striking salmon-pink crest, giving them a regal appearance. With an average length of 50 centimeters (20 inches), they are one of the largest cockatoos in the world.

To provide a better understanding of the Moluccan Cockatoo, here is a table summarizing some of its key attributes:

Attribute Description
Scientific Name Cacatua moluccensis
Average Lifespan 60-80 years
Habitat Lowland forests and rainforests of the Moluccan Islands
Conservation Status Endangered (IUCN Red List)
Behavioral Traits Social, intelligent, playful, can be loud and demanding

Due to habitat loss and illegal pet trade, the Moluccan Cockatoo is currently listed as an endangered species. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure the survival of this magnificent bird.

Black Palm Cockatoo

large rare black parrot

The next cockatoo species to be discussed is the Black Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), a captivating and enigmatic bird known for its distinctive appearance and fascinating behaviors. This bird is one of the largest cockatoo species, measuring up to 60 centimeters in length. Its most striking feature is its jet-black plumage, which contrasts with its bright red cheeks. The Black Palm Cockatoo is highly intelligent and has been observed using tools in the wild, such as breaking off branches to extract grubs from tree trunks.

In terms of behavioral traits, this species is known for its loud and raucous calls, often described as sounding like a screaming baby. These vocalizations serve as a means of communication and can be heard over long distances. Additionally, Black Palm Cockatoos are known for their strong pair bonds and can live up to 40-60 years.

However, despite its captivating nature, the Black Palm Cockatoo is currently facing conservation challenges. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the pet trade. Efforts are being made to protect its remaining habitat and combat illegal trade to ensure the survival of this stunning bird.

Goffin's Cockatoo

curious and intelligent parrot

Goffin's Cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana), also known as the Tanimbar Cockatoo, is a small and intelligent species of cockatoo native to the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia. This species is highly sought after as a pet due to its playful and curious nature. Goffin's Cockatoo is known for its ability to mimic human speech and its affinity for problem-solving tasks.

In terms of habitat, Goffin's Cockatoo can be found in tropical rainforests and coastal areas of the Tanimbar Islands. They are adaptable birds, capable of thriving in various habitats, including mangroves and lowland forests.

When it comes to diet, Goffin's Cockatoo feeds on a variety of foods including seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries. In the wild, they also consume insects and small invertebrates.

To further understand the characteristics of Goffin's Cockatoo, the following table highlights some of their behavioral traits, habitat, and diet:

Behavioral Traits Habitat Diet
Intelligent Tropical rainforests Seeds, nuts, fruits
Curious Coastal areas Berries, insects
Mimicry Mangroves Small invertebrates
Playful Lowland forests

Goffin's Cockatoo is an intriguing species with its intelligence and adaptability, making it a fascinating bird to study and observe.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

distinctive red tailed black feathers

With its distinctive appearance and unique behaviors, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is a captivating species that stands out among its avian counterparts.

This magnificent bird is predominantly found in the woodlands and forests of Australia, particularly in the western and northern regions. The species prefers habitats with an abundance of eucalyptus trees, as they rely on their seeds and bark for food.

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is known for its striking black plumage, highlighted by a vibrant red tail. Sadly, this beautiful bird is facing numerous threats to its survival, including habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade, and climate change.

Conservation efforts are crucial to protect the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo's habitat and ensure its long-term survival. These efforts include the establishment of protected areas, habitat restoration projects, and public awareness campaigns to promote responsible bird-watching practices.

Yellow-crested Cockatoo

beautiful white bird with crest

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo, scientifically known as Cacatua sulphurea, is a critically endangered species native to the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Sumba, and Timor. This beautiful bird can be easily recognized by its striking yellow crest, which gives it its name. The Yellow-crested Cockatoo primarily inhabits lowland forests, mangroves, and agricultural areas. However, due to deforestation and illegal pet trade, its population has significantly declined, resulting in its critical conservation status. Efforts are being made to protect its remaining habitats and combat illegal trade.

In terms of breeding and nesting habits, Yellow-crested Cockatoos are monogamous, forming lifelong pair bonds. They build their nests in tree cavities, typically high above the ground. The female lays a clutch of 2-3 eggs, which both parents take turns incubating for about 28 days. Once the chicks hatch, they are cared for by both parents until they become independent. These nesting habits contribute to the species' slow reproductive rate, making conservation efforts even more crucial for its survival.

Citron-crested Cockatoo

exotic bird with unique crest

Continuing our exploration of cockatoo species, we now turn our attention to the Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata), a distinct and captivating avian species closely related to the Yellow-crested Cockatoo. Known for its stunning appearance, the Citron-crested Cockatoo is characterized by its bright yellow plumage and a prominent, elegant crest on its head.

Behaviorally, these birds are highly intelligent and social creatures. They form strong bonds with their human caregivers and require regular mental stimulation to prevent boredom. In the wild, they are often seen in large flocks, displaying their remarkable communication skills through vocalizations and elaborate head movements.

The Citron-crested Cockatoo is native to the Indonesian islands of Sumba and Timor. It inhabits lowland forests, savannahs, and agricultural areas. They have a diverse diet that consists of fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. While they primarily feed on vegetation, they also have a fondness for nectar, which they obtain by inserting their beaks into flowers.

White Cockatoo

rare white cockatoo sighting

The White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) showcases a striking and distinctive appearance, characterized by its snowy white plumage and charming crest atop its head. As the most popular pet cockatoo species, white cockatoos are beloved for their beauty and affectionate nature.

These birds are native to the Indonesian islands of Bali, Sulawesi, and the Lesser Sunda Islands. White cockatoos have a robust body with a length of around 50 centimeters and a wingspan of approximately 65 centimeters. Their beak is large and curved, enabling them to crack open nuts and seeds.

White cockatoos are known for their intelligence, ability to mimic sounds, and sociable behavior. They require a spacious enclosure, mental stimulation, and regular grooming to maintain their pristine white feathers.

As pets, white cockatoos can form strong bonds with their owners and are known to be playful and affectionate companions.

Galah Cockatoo

colorful australian parrot species

Originating from Australia, the Galah Cockatoo (Eolophus roseicapilla) is a widely recognized species known for its distinctive pink and grey plumage and playful demeanor. In terms of habitat and behavior, Galah Cockatoos are commonly found in a variety of environments such as open grasslands, woodlands, and urban areas. They are highly social birds that form large flocks, often seen flying and foraging together. Galah Cockatoos are known for their acrobatic displays, which include hanging upside down and performing aerial maneuvers.

When it comes to their diet and feeding habits, Galah Cockatoos primarily feed on a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetation. They have strong beaks that allow them to crack open tough seed shells. Additionally, they are known to raid crops and forage for food in agricultural areas. These intelligent birds have also been observed using tools, such as sticks, to extract food from crevices.

Gang-gang Cockatoo

unique australian bird species

The Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), native to Australia, is a unique species recognized for its striking appearance and intriguing behaviors. This medium-sized cockatoo has a distinct crest on its head, with the male having a bright red crest while the female displays a gray crest.

Known for their gentle and quiet nature, Gang-gang Cockatoos are often found in small family groups or pairs. They primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and insects, and are known to be nomadic, moving between different feeding areas.

In terms of conservation efforts, the Gang-gang Cockatoo is listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and degradation. To help protect this species, efforts are being made to conserve and restore their natural habitat.

As for breeding habits, Gang-gang Cockatoos typically breed from September to January, nesting in tree hollows. They are monogamous, forming long-term partnerships, and both parents take part in incubating the eggs and raising the chicks.

Blue-eyed Cockatoo

rare blue eyed cockatoo discovered

Moving on to the next fascinating species of cockatoo, we now turn our attention to the captivating Blue-eyed Cockatoo. Scientifically known as Cacatua ophthalmica, this species is endemic to the tropical rainforests of Indonesia's Masalembu Islands. As the name suggests, the Blue-eyed Cockatoo is distinguished by its striking bright blue eyes, which contrast beautifully with its white plumage and vivid orange crest.

Breeding habits of the Blue-eyed Cockatoo are still being studied, but it is believed to be monogamous, forming long-term pair bonds. Breeding typically occurs between September and December, with females laying a single egg in a tree hollow. The incubation period lasts around 30 days, after which both parents share the responsibility of rearing the chick.

Due to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the pet trade, the Blue-eyed Cockatoo is currently listed as critically endangered. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve its natural habitat, as well as to combat illegal trade. These efforts include habitat restoration, captive breeding programs, and public awareness campaigns to promote responsible pet ownership and discourage the purchase of wild-caught birds.


colorful pet bird species

Cockatiels, scientifically known as Nymphicus hollandicus, are small parrots native to Australia. They are widely popular as pets due to their friendly nature and ability to mimic human speech.

Cockatiels have a varied diet consisting of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. A balanced diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. It is important to provide them with a variety of foods to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Cockatiels are known for their playful and affectionate behavior. They enjoy interacting with their owners and can be trained to perform tricks and respond to commands. They are social birds and thrive in environments where they receive attention and companionship.

Cockatiels are also known for their crest, which they raise and lower depending on their mood or level of excitement. Understanding their dietary needs and behavioral traits is crucial in providing proper care for these delightful pets.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!