Cockatoo Breeds: Discover the Unique Types of Cockatoos.

There are different types of cockatoos, such as umbrella, moluccan, and rose-breasted. Cockatoos are known for their sociable nature and affectionate personalities.

Cockatoos are strikingly beautiful, intelligent birds that belong to the parrot family. With their iconic crests and feather plumes, they are easily recognized and highly sought after as pets. Cockatoos make great companions for those who can meet their physical, social, and emotional needs.

There are 21 species of cockatoos, ranging from the small and colorful galah to the majestic palm cockatoo. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of cockatoos and their unique physical and behavioral characteristics. Understanding the various breeds can help you decide if a cockatoo is the right pet for you.

Cockatoo Breeds: Discover the Unique Types of Cockatoos.


Characteristic Features And Adaptability

Cockatoos are one of the most striking and interesting birds to watch. These birds are intelligent, social creatures that are native to australia, indonesia, and nearby islands. Cockatoos are popular among bird lovers since they have an engaging and dynamic personality, and each breed is unique in its own way.

In this blog post, we will discuss characteristic features and adaptability in different breeds of cockatoos.

Physical Characteristics Of Cockatoos

  • Cockatoos come in different sizes ranging from 12 to 27 inches in length.
  • They have a distinctive plumage, commonly seen in white, grey, and black color, with bright yellow or orange plumage on the crest of the head.
  • These birds have strong, curved beaks that they use for eating nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetation.
  • Cockatoos have zygodactyl feet, which means they have four toes, two of which point forward and two which point backward.

Behavioral Characteristics Of Cockatoos

  • Cockatoos are intelligent birds that require mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored.
  • They are also high maintenance pets, requiring a lot of attention and care from their owners.
  • Cockatoos are highly social and thrive in environments that provide them with ample opportunities to play, explore, and socialize.
  • They are known for their ability to mimic human speech, songs and sounds, and can learn simple words and phrases.

Their Adaptability To Different Environments

  • Cockatoos are adaptable birds that can thrive in different environments, including in captivity.
  • They are native to tropical forests and woodlands, but certain breeds can also be found in agricultural fields and semi-arid regions.
  • These birds can adapt to different altitudes and climatic conditions.
  • Cockatoos can be kept as pets, but it is essential to provide them with enough space, toys, and social interaction, and a proper diet.

Cockatoos are fascinating birds with unique personalities, but they also require a lot of care and attention from their owners. Understanding their physical and behavioral characteristics, as well as their adaptability, is key to providing them with the best possible quality of life.

If you are considering owning a cockatoo, make sure to research the specific breed thoroughly before making any decisions.

Top Cockatoo Breeds

Cockatoos are unique and interesting birds that make great pets for those who are ready for the commitment. These birds require attention and care, but their loving and intelligent personalities make it all worth it. There are several types of cockatoos, each with their own unique characteristics.

In this section, we will explore the top cockatoo breeds that are popular in the pet trade.

Umbrella Cockatoo

The umbrella cockatoo is one of the most well-known cockatoo breeds. Here are some key points about them:

  • They are one of the larger cockatoo breeds, growing up to 18-20 inches in length.
  • They are predominantly white with black beaks and feet, and a distinctive crest on their head.
  • Umbrella cockatoos are known for their playful and affectionate personalities, but they require a lot of attention and stimulation.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

The sulphur crested cockatoo is another popular cockatoo breed. Here are some key points about them:

  • They are medium to large-sized birds, growing up to 17-20 inches in length.
  • They have white feathers with a bright yellow crest and dark beak.
  • Sulphur crested cockatoos are known for their entertaining personalities and talking abilities, but they can be loud and demanding pets.

Goffin’S Cockatoo

Goffin’s cockatoo is a smaller cockatoo breed that has gained popularity in recent years. Here are some key points about them:

  • They are small birds, growing up to 12 inches in length.
  • They have white feathers with a pinkish-peach blush on their cheeks and gray feet.
  • Goffin’s cockatoos are very energetic and playful, but they also require a lot of attention and will become distressed without proper socialization.

Rose Breasted Cockatoo

The rose breasted cockatoo, also known as the galah cockatoo, is a smaller cockatoo breed that is native to australia. Here are some key points about them:

  • They are medium-sized birds, growing up to 14 inches in length.
  • They have a light gray body with a distinctive pinkish-red breast and white eye-ring.
  • Rose breasted cockatoos are known for their playful and affectionate personalities, but they require daily interaction and attention.

Major Mitchell’S Cockatoo

The major mitchell’s cockatoo, also known as the leadbeater’s cockatoo, is a stunning and intelligent cockatoo breed. Here are some key points about them:

  • They are medium-sized birds, growing up to 14-18 inches in length.
  • They have a pink and white body with a distinctive yellow and red crest.
  • Major mitchell’s cockatoos are highly intelligent and trainable, but they require a lot of attention and enrichment to prevent destructive behaviors.

Owning a cockatoo can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Understanding the different types of cockatoos can help you choose the bird that is right for you. Whether you choose a larger breed like the umbrella cockatoo or a smaller breed like the goffin’s cockatoo, you’ll be welcoming an intelligent and loving companion into your life.

The Umbrella Cockatoo

Description And Physical Features

The umbrella cockatoo, also known as the white cockatoo, is a large and beautiful bird that is well-recognized for its striking appearance. Here are some key points to know about the umbrella cockatoo’s physical features:

  • Size: These birds grow up to 18-20 inches (46-51 cm) in length, and they weigh between 1.1-1.6 pounds (500-750 gm).
  • Colors: The umbrella cockatoo’s primary color is white, but they have yellow feathers on their underwings and tail feathers, and a black beak and feet.
  • Crest: The umbrella cockatoo has a distinctive crest of white feathers on its head that can be raised or lowered depending on its mood or level of excitement.
  • Lifespan: In captivity, umbrella cockatoos can live to be up to 70 years old.

Behavior And Temperament

Umbrella cockatoos are known for their playful, affectionate, and sometimes mischievous personalities. Here are some key points to know about their behavior and temperament:

  • Social creatures: Umbrella cockatoos are very social and need plenty of interaction with other birds or humans to stay happy and healthy. They can become easily bored or depressed if left alone for long periods of time.
  • Intelligent: These birds are very intelligent and require a lot of mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They enjoy learning new tricks and playing with toys that challenge them mentally.
  • Training: With proper training and socialization, umbrella cockatoos can become very affectionate and loving pets. However, they can also be stubborn and require a firm but gentle handler.
  • Vocalization: Umbrella cockatoos can be very vocal and are known for their loud screeching and screaming. They should not be kept in apartments or other environments where noise may be an issue.

Housing And Feeding Requirements

When caring for an umbrella cockatoo, it is important to provide a comfortable and stimulating environment and a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some key points to know about their housing and feeding requirements:

  • Housing: These birds require a large enclosure, at least 3 feet wide by 5 feet tall by 5 feet deep. Provide lots of toys, perches, and climbing areas to keep them entertained.
  • Diet: A balanced diet for an umbrella cockatoo includes a variety of pellets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a limited amount of nuts and seeds. Avoid feeding them chocolate, avocado, and any foods that contain caffeine or alcohol.
  • Water: Fresh drinking water should always be available. Change the water in their bowl at least once a day and clean their water dish to prevent bacteria growth.

Remember, owning an umbrella cockatoo requires a lot of time, patience, and commitment. But with proper care and training, they can make amazing pets and lifelong companions.

The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Description And Physical Features

If you’re looking for a bird that is as beautiful as it is intelligent, then the sulphur crested cockatoo might be your perfect match. This iconic bird is one of the largest and most recognizable cockatoo breeds, sporting a striking white crest atop gleaming yellow plumage.

  • The sulphur crested cockatoo weighs between 2.5-3.5 pounds and has a wingspan of up to 48 inches.
  • Its signature crest can be raised or lowered depending on its mood.
  • The bird’s bill is black and its eyes are a piercing black color.
  • They live up to 70 years in captivity.

Behavior And Temperament

Sulphur crested cockatoos are known for being incredibly intelligent and affectionate birds. However, they do require careful training and socialization to ensure they remain tame and well-behaved.

  • Sulphur crested cockatoos are very social birds and thrive when given plenty of attention and interaction.
  • They can be very loud birds if they’re not properly trained and socialized.
  • Like other cockatoos, they enjoy playing and chewing on toys made from wood or other natural materials.
  • With proper care and attention, sulphur crested cockatoos can bond very closely with their owners and become loving and loyal companions.

Housing And Feeding Requirements

When it comes to housing and feeding a sulphur crested cockatoo, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • Sulphur crested cockatoos require a spacious cage with plenty of room to move around and play.
  • It’s important to provide your bird with a variety of toys, perches, and other stimulation to keep them happy and engaged throughout the day.
  • As for diet, sulphur crested cockatoos should be fed a varied diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality seeds and pellets.

With the right care and attention, the sulphur crested cockatoo can make a wonderful companion for anyone looking for a beautiful and intelligent bird to add to their family.

Goffin’S Cockatoo

Description And Physical Features

Goffin’s cockatoo, also known as goffin’s corella, is a small-sized parrot species belonging to the cacatuidae family. They are native to indonesia’s tanimbar islands, where they live in trees and forage for food. Goffin’s cockatoos measures approximately 12 inches in length and weighs between 200-300 grams.

They have a distinct white coloring, with pink-toned feathers on their abdomen and yellowish-orange cheeks. They have a narrow gray beak and dark grayish legs with a touch of pinkish-orange in the eyes. Overall, these cockatoos have an athletic, plump appearance, which makes them incredibly adorable.

Behavior And Temperament

Goffin’s cockatoos are intelligent, social, and affectionate birds that bond closely with their owners. These parrots are natural problem solvers, and if provided with toys to play with, they will keep themselves occupied for hours.

While they are known for their playful nature, they can also be quite vocal and loud. They enjoy vocalizing their happiness, discontent, and playfulness through a range of sounds such as beeps, whistles, and even screams.

These clever birds are quick learners and can be trained to do multiple tasks, including flying to their owners, playing games, and singing. They have a unique ability to mimic sounds, so expect them to repeat things you say in funny and surprising ways.

Housing And Feeding Requirements

Goffin’s cockatoos require an expansive cage to promote movement and exercise, preferably with natural wooden perches. Provide them with different toys, swings, and puzzles to help them stay entertained and mentally stimulated.

Feed your goffin’s cockatoo a balanced diet of pellets, fruits, and vegetables, along with some seeds and nuts as a treat. They also require a fresh supply of water, which should be changed daily.

Goffin’s cockatoos make great companions for those who can dedicate the time and attention these intelligent birds need. When cared for correctly, they can live up to 40 years old, providing many years of joy and entertainment for their owners.

Rose-Breasted Cockatoo

Description And Physical Features

The rose-breasted cockatoo, also known as the galah cockatoo, is a medium-sized parrot with a beautiful, distinctive appearance. Here are some key points to know about its description and physical features:

  • The galah cockatoo measures between 13-14 inches and weighs approximately 300 grams.
  • Its coloring is predominantly pinkish-grey, with a beautiful rose-colored breast and a grey back. The tail feathers are a darker shade of grey.
  • The beak of the galah cockatoo is curved and flesh-colored, while its feet are a light grey color.
  • These cockatoos have a lifespan of up to 80 years, making them a long-term commitment if you choose to keep one as a pet.

Behavior And Temperament

The galah cockatoo may not be as commonly known as other breeds, however, this does not mean it lacks in personality. Here are some key points to know about its behavior and temperament:

  • These birds are known to be social creatures, with a strong affinity for bonding with their owners. They thrive on time spent with their owners.
  • Their social nature makes them an ideal choice if you are seeking a companion bird that wants to be with you throughout the day.
  • Galah cockatoos have an active, playful personality. They are curious birds who enjoy exploring their surroundings and playing with toys.
  • They are intelligent creatures who benefit from regular interaction, mental stimulation, and socialization with other birds.

Housing And Feeding Requirements

Caring for a galah cockatoo requires a habitat that facilitates their active and curious nature. Here are some key points to know about their housing and feeding requirements:

  • Due to their size and need for activity, a large bird cage is required, allowing space for movement and exercise.
  • A variety of toys and perches are recommended to keep your galah cockatoo entertained and satisfied.
  • A healthy and balanced diet for the galah cockatoo should include pellets, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Foods that are high in fat or salt should be avoided.
  • Fresh water should be available at all times, and the water should be changed daily.
  • Keeping the bird cage and toys clean with a bird-safe cleaner also helps maintain your galah cockatoo’s health.

With proper care and attention, rose-breasted cockatoos can make loving and fun companions, providing a beautiful addition to any household.

Major Mitchell’S Cockatoo

Cockatoo Breeds: Discover The Unique Types Of Cockatoos

Are you considering a major mitchell’s cockatoo as a pet or curious to learn more about this unique and beautiful species? Either way, you’ll find valuable information here about the physical characteristics, behavior, temperament, and feeding requirements of these birds.

Description And Physical Features

  • Major mitchell’s cockatoo or leadbeater’s cockatoo is a medium-sized species of cockatoo recognized by its soft pink feathers.
  • They are typically around 12 to 15 inches in length and weigh 10 to 14 ounces.
  • Major mitchell’s cockatoo has a hard, curved, and yellowish beak and prominent crests on their heads.
  • They have soft-pink feathers on their chest, shoulder, and crest, with white feathers on their wings and back.
  • Another notable physical feature of major mitchell’s cockatoos is their faint blush of soft, pinks, and yellows on their cheeks, which is not seen in other species.

Behavior And Temperament

  • Major mitchell’s cockatoos are friendly, lovable, and affectionate birds that bond intensely with their owners.
  • They are known for their playful and energetic nature that requires extensive daily interaction, including toys and playtime.
  • These birds need socialization, and they show their love and affection well but sometimes become loud, destructive, or self-mutilating when bored or left alone for an extended period.
  • Majorly, mitchell’s cockatoo tends to have numerous emotions, such as happiness and sadness, and can be quite sensitive. Therefore, owners should take care to shower them with a lot more love and attention than other bird species.

Housing And Feeding Requirements

  • Carpenter-built aviaries, ones made out of metal, or glass are most suitable for major mitchell’s cockatoos.
  • The cage or aviary needs to be at least 5 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 6 feet tall to accommodate the bird’s size and energy requirements.
  • The food requirements of major mitchell’s cockatoo are straightforward. They need a balanced diet of pellets, fruits, and vegetables to maintain their health and energy levels.
  • Make sure they have enough fresh drinking water, bathing water, and toys for mental stimulation.
  • Beware that these birds may develop fatty liver disease if they continually consume a high-fat diet.

A major mitchell’s cockatoo is a fantastic bird to have as a pet due to their loving temperament and exquisite soft-pink feathers that make them a unique species. Proper housing and feeding, along with enough interaction and attention, are necessary to maintain their happiness and well-being.

Comparison Of Cockatoo Breeds

Cockatoo Breeds: Discover The Unique Types Of Cockatoos

Cockatoos are one of the most colorful and charismatic birds, known for their bold, playful, and affectionate personalities. These birds are highly intelligent, active, social, and require significant care and attention as pets. However, with so many different cockatoo breeds, it can be difficult to choose the right one.

We will compare various cockatoo breeds based on their physical features, temperament, and adaptability to different environments.

Comparison Of Physical Features

Cockatoos are a medium-sized bird species, ranging from 12-24 inches in length and weighing between 10-30 ounces. They have a distinctive crest of feathers on their heads that can be raised and lowered to communicate with other birds. Cockatoo breeds are known for their striking colors and patterns, ranging from mostly white with yellow or pink highlights to gray, brown, or black.

  • Moluccan cockatoo: The largest of the cockatoo breeds, with salmon-pink feathers and a massive, colorful crest.
  • Umbrella cockatoo: The most popular pet cockatoo breed, with all-white feathers and a dramatic crest that can be raised or lowered to match its mood.
  • Sulphur crested cockatoo: A large, vocal, and social species with yellow crests and white plumage.
  • Goffin’s cockatoo: A small, playful, and mischievous breed that loves attention and can learn to talk.
  • Rose-breasted cockatoo: A medium-sized breed with a striking pink or rosy breast and gray feathers on its wings and back.

Comparison Of Temperament And Behavior

Cockatoos are intelligent, emotional, and social birds that require significant interaction and enrichment to thrive in captivity. They are highly affectionate and can form strong bonds with their owners but can also become possessive and jealous if not socialized properly.

Here are some key traits associated with different cockatoo breeds:

  • Moluccan cockatoo: Affectionate, intelligent, and comical, but can be demanding and vocal if not given enough attention.
  • Umbrella cockatoo: Friendly, cuddly, and playful, but may become aggressive or noisy if bored or neglected.
  • Sulphur crested cockatoo: Outgoing, vocal, and social, but may engage in destructive behavior if not given enough toys or activities.
  • Goffin’s cockatoo: Curious, playful, and energetic, but may become nippy and grabby if overstimulated.
  • Rose-breasted cockatoo: Loyal, gentle, and loving, but may become shy or fearful if not socialized adequately.

Comparison Of Adaptability To Different Environments

Cockatoos are native to australia and nearby islands and require warm, humid climates to thrive in captivity. They also need significant space to spread their wings and exercise, as well as a balanced diet of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a cockatoo breed:

  • Moluccan cockatoo: Does best in a large aviary or an experienced owner’s home with plenty of attention and time commitment.
  • Umbrella cockatoo: Adapts well to a range of environments and living conditions, but can become depressed or destructive if left alone for long periods.
  • Sulphur crested cockatoo: Needs plenty of socialization and interaction with humans to remain happy and healthy, and can become vocal or aggressive if bored or neglected.
  • Goffin’s cockatoo: Enjoys learning new tricks and playing with toys, but may become bored or restless if not given enough attention or exercise.
  • Rose-breasted cockatoo: Needs a calm and peaceful environment with a patient and gentle owner, and may become anxious or frightened if subjected to loud noises or sudden movements.

Owning a cockatoo requires significant commitment, patience, and expertise, as well as love and affection. With proper care and attention, a cockatoo can provide endless joy, companionship, and entertainment for years to come. Choose the right cockatoo breed based on your lifestyle, personality, and environment, and enjoy the colorful and charismatic world of cockatoos.

Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Cockatoo Breed

Cockatoos are beautiful, intelligent, and emotional birds that make excellent pets. Before choosing a cockatoo breed, there are several factors to consider. In this section, we will explore some of the most critical considerations to ensure you make the right choice for you and your family.

Care Requirements

Cockatoos can live for up to 70 years, making them a long-term commitment. As such, it is vital to consider their care requirements before selecting a breed. Here are a few key elements to keep in mind:

  • Cockatoos require a lot of attention and interaction with their owners to thrive.
  • They need a spacious cage, as they are active birds.
  • Cockatoos need a varied diet, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
  • Regular grooming is essential to prevent feather plucking, which is a common problem.
  • Cockatoos need plenty of mental stimulation, including toys and games.

Available Space And Environment

The amount of space available in your home is another crucial factor to think about when selecting a cockatoo breed. The size of your home, the number of family members, and the bird’s cage size will all play a role in your decision.

Other considerations include:

  • The location of your home – indoor or outdoor environment.
  • The noise level in your home and surrounding environment.
  • Keep in mind that all cockatoos are very vocal birds and can be quite loud.
  • The availability of natural light and fresh air can also impact your bird’s health.


Owning a cockatoo can be expensive. Here are some factors to consider:

  • The cost of purchasing the bird.
  • The cost of a spacious cage, toys, and other accessories.
  • Food expenses for a well-rounded diet.
  • Regular check-ups with a vet to ensure your bird is healthy.
  • Budget for emergency care, which can cost thousands of dollars.

Personal Preferences

Your personal preferences are essential when choosing a cockatoo breed as they will impact your overall happiness and the compatibility between you and your feathered friend. Consider the following:

  • Do you want a cuddly bird that enjoys physical contact with humans, or are you looking for a bird that prefers to observe from afar?
  • Do you have a preference for the bird’s appearance or personality?
  • Are you willing to commit years to a bird that will become a part of the family?

Choosing the right cockatoo breed takes careful consideration. Think about the care requirements, available space and environment, expense, and your personal preferences before making a decision. With the right approach, a cockatoo can make a fantastic, long-term companion.

Frequently Asked Questions On Cockatoo Breeds: The Different Types Of Cockatoos

What Are The Different Types Of Cockatoos?

The different types of cockatoos include sulphur-crested, umbrella, rose-breasted, goffin’s, moluccan, and black palm cockatoos. Each type has its unique characteristics that make them distinct from others.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Cockatoo?

Cockatoos have a longer lifespan than other birds, typically living up to 60 years and more with proper care and diet. Their lifespan is dependent mainly on their species and environment.

Do Cockatoos Make Good Pets?

Cockatoos can make great pets for the right owner. They are intelligent, social, and affectionate birds that require lots of attention, patience, and care. They can also be noisy and demanding pets.

What Is The Diet Of A Cockatoo?

A cockatoo’s diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, pellets, and clean drinking water. Avoid feeding them avocado, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, and sugary foods as it can harm the bird’s health.

Can Cockatoos Talk?

Cockatoos are capable of mimicking human speech and can learn several words and phrases with proper training and socialization. Though not all cockatoos will talk, some birds are more vocal than others.

How Do You Care For A Cockatoo?

To care for a cockatoo, provide it with a large cage, clean food, and water daily, a varied diet, proper socialization, and lots of love and attention. Schedule annual veterinary check-ups to keep your bird in good health.


The world of cockatoos is diverse and fascinating, with several unique breeds that possess their own set of characteristics and tendencies. From the charismatic sulphur-crested cockatoo to the gentle and affectionate goffin’s cockatoo, enthusiasts and pet owners alike have plenty of options when it comes to these delightful birds.

Understanding the different traits and care requirements of each breed is crucial for their well-being and longevity, and it’s essential to approach their ownership with patience, commitment, and responsibility. With proper research, preparation, and support, you can provide your beloved cockatoo with a happy and fulfilling life, full of opportunities for bonding, growth, and joy.

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a newcomer to the world of avian companionship, discovering and cherishing the unique traits of your cockatoo is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that can bring you years of happiness and companionship.

Md Atiqul Hakim

AtiQ's blog, "Wild Bird Lady," is a treasure trove of insights, tips, and captivating stories. Join him on a fascinating journey of exploration, discovery, and celebration of our avian neighbors through engaging articles and breathtaking photographs.

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