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Cockatoos are one of the most popular types of pet birds, and it’s easy to see why. These beautiful, charismatic birds are known for their playful personalities and their ability to mimic human speech. While they can be a bit noisy at times, their loving nature more than makes up for it.

More Information

The Ultimate Guide to the Cockatoo

Key Characteristics Of The Cockatoo
How Can I Take Good Care Of A Cockatoo?
Most Asked Cockatoo Questions
Similar Bird Species

The Cockatoo is a striking bird with a crest of feathers on its head, and a curved beak. Cockatoos are found in woodlands and forests in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are social birds that live in flocks, and are known for their loud calls. Cockatoos are also known for their intelligence, and some can be trained to perform tricks.

Cockatoo Origins

A Cockatoo is a parrot that is any of the 21 species belonging to the bird family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea. Along with the other members of the genus Cacatua, they make up the subfamily Cacatuinae. Cockatoos are native to Australasia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The greatest diversity of cockatoos occurs in Australia and New Guinea.

Cockatoos have been kept by humans since ancient times and were brought into Europe during mediaeval times where they became popular amongst noblemen and royalty who kept them as status symbols due largely to their rarity – something that continues today as most species remain quite rare outside Australasia. In addition to their popularity as pets many species are used extensively in aviculture where dedicated breeders work on maintaining healthy captive populations.

Key Characteristics of the Cockatoo

Do Cockatoos make good pets?Cockatoos are very affectionate birds and can make great pets. They are also very intelligent and can learn to do tricks. However, they can be loud and need a lot of attention.
Daily Exercise Needs?
Cockatoos are very social birds and need a lot of interaction with their owners. They can become bored easily, so it is important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities. Cockatoos also like to chew, so it is important to give them things to chew on, such as wooden blocks or branches.
Common Health Issues & ConsiderationsWhile generally healthy, the Cockatoo may be prone to:
● Feather plucking
● Bacterial infections
● Malnutrition

Lifespan30 to 70 years
Black, Grey, Pink, White
300 to 900 grams

31 to 70 cm
Suitable CageA Cockatoo should have a cage that is at least 24 inches square and 36 inches tall. However, the larger the cage, the better. Cockatoos have very strong beaks, so the cage material should be stainless steel or wrought iron. Larger Cockatoos will require even larger cages.
Out of Cage TimeCockatoos need time out of their cage, especially for commercially-available cages which are not large enough to let them fly around. Allow your Cockatoo at least a couple of hours out of their cage per week so they can exercise. For out of cage time, you should have an enclosed room where the bird cannot escape. Keep hazards out of this room, such as electric fans or other pets.

Other considerations:

● Cockatoos are very social birds and need a lot of attention. They can become bored easily and may start to feather pick or become destructive if they are not given enough attention.

● Cockatoos are also known for being very loud. They can screech for long periods of time and this may not be ideal if you have close neighbours.

● Cockatoos require a lot of space to move around and flap their wings. They should have a large cage or aviary to live in.

How can I take good care of my Cockatoo?


Cockatoos need a diet that is high in fat and protein. Cockatoos are known to be very messy eaters, so their diet needs to be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. A good diet for a Cockatoo should consist of:

High quality fresh pellets or a mix of pellets and seed
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Nuts and seeds
Meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.)
Cooked grains

Cockatoos need to have access to fresh water at all times.

Entertainment and Enrichment

In the wild, these birds live in flocks and are constantly interacting with one another. Cockatoos need plenty of mental stimulation to stay enriched. Provide your bird with toys that encourage it to play, chew, shred and climb. For example, hanging wooden blocks or ropes from the ceiling for your Cockatoo to chew on, or a climbing ladder for it to explore are both great options. Rotate the toys regularly so your bird doesn’t get bored, and be sure to offer a variety of different textures and colours to keep things interesting.


A Cockatoo requires a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. At minimum, they should have several hours of free-flight time or out-of-cage time every day. This can be broken up into several shorter sessions throughout the day. They also need access to perches and toys to keep them active and mentally stimulated.

Providing your Cockatoo with ample exercise opportunities is crucial to their well-being. Not only does it help keep them physically healthy, but it also provides much-needed mental stimulation. Cockatoos are very intelligent birds and can become easily bored if not given enough to do. A bored Cockatoo is often a destructive one, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied.

This is general information and should not be relied on for adopting or purchasing advice.

Most Asked Cockatoo Questions

How can I tell if my Cockatoo is sick?

If your Cockatoo is fluffed up, lethargic, has a runny nose or diarrhoea, or is losing feathers, it may be sick.

What are the differences between Cockatoos and other parrots?

Cockatoos are larger than most parrots and have a more robust build. They also have a crest of feathers on their head that they can raise or lower at will. Cockatoos are also known for their distinctive calls.

What is the cost of a Cockatoo for sale in Australia?

If you are searching for a Cockatoo for sale, it’s important to only deal with reputable breeders. The average cost of a Cockatoo bird for sale will be between AUD $1000 and $4000. Rarer Cockatoos will command higher prices.

This is general information and should not be relied on as adoption or purchasing advice.

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