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Cockatoo parrot

Cockatoo Parrot | Personality, Breed, Food, Diseases and Facts

In this article you will learn the complete details of Cockatoo parrot. You will get the details of life span, habitat and food they love to eat. We also added the information about the breeding process of Cockatoo. In addition, complete details of disease that can affect your Cockatoo, symptoms and treatment. You will also know interesting facts and much more.


Complete Details of Cockatoo Parrot


Cockatoos are parrots from the Cacatuidae family of the genus Cacatua. They come in twenty-one different species, with multiple species coexisting in a single flock.

Cockatoos are popular pet birds with characteristics as colorful and vibrant as their crests. While these birds are best known for their fan of feathers on their heads, there are many other interesting facts about cockatoos that bird lovers should consider.


Oceania is home to the 21 species of cockatoo. Cockatoos are only found in Australasia, which includes Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea.

Indonesia and the Solomon Islands are also home to them.


Breeding Behavior of Cockatoo Parrot:

Cockatoos only mate once a year, in the months of December to March. To attract a female: 

  • The male cockatoo puts on an elaborate performance. 
  • While bobbing, bouncing, and dancing in front of the female, he extends his wings, spreads his tail, ruffles his feathers, and lifts his crest. 
  • The pair will preen each other when the female accepts the male’s approach. Cockatoos are monogamous, meaning they only have one partner for the rest of their lives.



The cockatoo pair leaves their group after breeding to find a suitable nesting site. They build their nest 16 to 100 feet above ground in a huge tree hole. During the incubation stage, the female lays two or three eggs, and both parents alternate sitting on them, flipping them, and keeping them moist. The hatching period is almost 30 days.


Chicks of the Cockatoo Parrot:

When cockatoo babies hatch from their eggs: 

  • They are naked and blind. For several weeks, their eyes would not open.
  • Both parents look after their children, feeding and warming them. 
  • Depending on the species, it takes 60 to 100 days for the chicks to become fully feathered. 
  • When babies are this age, they become curious and fearlessly explore the world around them.


Getting Out Of The Nest:

When the cockatoo chicks are about 4 months old, they try out their flying talents. Build up their wing strength and learn to forage for food. 

  • The juvenile cockatoos are weaned and independent around a month after they have fledged.
  • Young cockatoos frequently remain with the flock to which they were born. Cockatoos achieve sexual maturity between the ages of 3 and 4 years


Best Food for Cockatoo Parrot:


Your cockatoo will stay healthy and happy if you give it proper nutrition. A variety of pellets and fresh meals also need to add in the diet of Cockatoos, to ensure that your bird’s nutritional needs and their diet does not become monotonous. Although preparing food for a cockatoo takes more effort, feeding the bird is simple. Food, actually gives the extra boost to your parrots to learn the new things.


Cockatoo pellets are very helpful for Cockatoos and you can purchase it from the market. The pellets are a mixture of peanuts and seeds and really helpful for your parrots, especially help to increase the nutritional needs of your cockatoo. While your bird does not want to eat pellets exclusively, it is essential that pellets make up the majority of their diet. If your parrot does not eat a well-balanced diet, they can quickly become undernourished. The pellets should make up about 60% of the bird’s diet. Do not feed low quality seed mixtures to your parrots. They will most likely choose their favorites and consume a diet high in fat and low in calcium accordingly.


Vegetables Colorful vegetables, such as green, dark green, orange, yellow or red, should be provided for maximum nutrients. Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, green vegetables, green peppers, asparagus, ripe tomatoes, and spinach are commonly fed vegetables. Always provide the vegetables in a raw form to your pet cockatoo.


Apples, pears, peaches, pomegranates, bananas, berries, plums, oranges, kiwis, citrus fruits, pomegranates, grapes, raisins, and other healthy fruits are essential to add to your cockatoo diet. Cockatoos love to eat fresh fruit. 

Dried Fruits and Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables that have been dried should be added. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be a large part of your bird’s diet, but dried fruits and vegetables can be delicious treats. They are also easy to feed and do less damage to your bird. 

The ideal way to eat dried fruit is like a treat. Only a few parts per day are needed.


Cockatoos love nuts, so they make great treats. When offered whole nuts, they like to crack the shell to get the seed. This provided both training and entertainment for their mouthpieces.


Legumes, boiled eggs, grated cheese, sprouts, ripe tomatoes, cooked beans, and spinach are all high in protein. They can also be fed small amounts of freshly cooked lean meat, chicken, or fish. Sometimes you can give them cooked beef bones. Protein is essential for the production process of your cockatoo.


Cockatoos are particularly fond of eucalyptus seeds, as well as Casuarina and Marri seeds. They will also devour the seeds of bull’s banks, as well as angophoras, hakes, acacias, and fruit seeds. Fruit seeds are harmful to some cockatoos, so keep that in mind. If your pet eats only seeds, it is likely that he is suffering from malnutrition; in this situation, a vitamin supplement may be necessary to keep your pet healthy.



Cockatoos should have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Use bottled water instead of tap water, which will likely contain heavy metals and chloride, as well as bacteria and parasites. Water that has been distilled or purified and filtered is recommended.

We also have another article in detail about Best Food for Parrots that have more detailed information.


Cockatoo Parrot Diseases:

Cockatoos are generally vulnerable to the following diseases:

Psittacidae Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)

A virus targets the immune system as well as the cells that make the beak and feathers. Throughout the body, the feathers may drop or change color, and the beak may warp and weaken. Affected birds are more susceptible to other infections (bacterial, viral or fungal) and are more likely to succumb to them. PBFD is very contagious, and because there is no therapy, it almost always results in death. Therefore, it is essential to keep your cockatoo away from infection. Any birds that your cockatoo might come in contact with, as well as some new places they might visit, should be checked for PBFD before being introduced into your home.

Lipomas and obesity

Obesity is a risk factor for cockatoos kept in captivity. The condition is intensified by high fat diets and a lack of physical activity. 

  • An overweight cockatoo can experience difficulty breathing, joint and bone stress, as well as a higher risk of diabetes, pancreatic disease, liver disease, and heart disease.
  • Obesity is often linked to lipomas. 
  • These are fatty tumors that usually occur in the abdomen and are benign. 
  • They are usually not fatal, but if they ulcerate or get too big, they can be unpleasant. Liposarcomas, a malignant and aggressive tumor, can form from them. 
  • The best treatment is surgical removal. 
  • If surgery is not an option, a tumor can be reduced with dietary management.



It is characterized by lameness and swelling of the bird’s legs, as well as lesions with discharge. 

  • Swelling of the joints of the feet or toes, as well as lameness, are common symptoms of Bumblefoot, with birds refusing to land on perches or grip normally. 
  • If left untreated, it can lead to an inability to stand and, in the worst case, loss of toes or feet. 
  • Hard plastic or studded perches, sandpaper, dirty cages/perches, and poor nutrition (high energy, vitamin A deficiency, and obesity) are all things that can make your bird more susceptible to Bumblefoot. 
  • A balanced diet, coupled with careful monitoring of the bird’s legs every few weeks and good hygiene of cages and perches can minimize the risk of bumblebee.


Self-Injury and Feather Picking:

Feather picking and self-harm can be induced by stress, boredom, or sexual dissatisfaction, or it can be the result of an underlying health problem.

  • If you notice anything strange or if you think your bird is not feeling well, contact your vet as soon as possible.
  •  Birds hide disease well, so by the time you detect that something is wrong, it is usually too late.

You will love to read more about the common diseases in parrots, symptoms and their treatment.


How Cockatoo Parrot are different from other parrots?

The “crest” of cockatoos is their most identifying feature. When cockatoos are aroused, excited, or threatened, they can move their crests back and forth, even up and down. True parrots, on the other hand, do not have this trait. 


Cockatoo parrot, on the other hand, lacks the oil glands that are responsible for preening real parrots. Preening is the act of cleaning oneself up using the beaks of birds and parrots. Cockatoos, on the other hand, use a different method. Cockatoos produce a lot of powder/dust in their feathers instead of oil. This dust ensures the safety of their feathers while also keeping them clean. 


The bite that goes three ways

The lower mandibles of cockatoo beaks are one of the most distinctive aspects of their body (aside from their dramatic ridges).


  • A visible “U” shaped part missing in the “lower lip” part of a cockatoo’s lower jaw can be seen if you look closely. 
  • This spoon-shaped characteristic allows a cockatoo to bite in three different directions. 
  • This gives their beaks more strength when gripping meals, branches, and even the fingers of their human caregivers.
  • Cockatoos have the ability to cause more severe and damaging bites than other birds of similar size due to this trait. 
  • This is something to keep in mind for potential buyers.


Cockatoo Parrot as Velcro Birds:

Cockatoos have incredibly strong bonds with their owners that last a lifetime when hand-fed like babies and properly tamed. Cockatoos are also known as “Velcro” birds because they are friendly parrots.


These birds are fond of petting and love to be on or near their owners at all times. It is essential that you have the time to commit to this animal. This means spending at least two hours a day, if not more, handling and socializing with them.


If they don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention, some cockatoos may become depressed. This can have negative consequences like pulling feathers and destructive behavior.


Vocal and Loud

If we talk about the Vocal and Loud, Cockatoos are notoriously loud, despite the fact that all parrots can cry. From a mile away, you can hear the contact call of a cockatoo. This is especially true in the early morning hours and near dusk when they were screaming naturally.


Cockatoos are not suggested for people who live in compact places due to their extremely loud sounds. Bring a pet to an apartment complex or town



Most cockatoos are dimorphic, which means that males and females are essentially the same, unlike many other birds. This makes determining the sex of your feathered friend quite difficult.


There are slight variations between the sexes in several species of cockatoo. 

Males, for example, maybe slightly larger or have more colorful plumage than females. 

  • To observe these distinctions, one would have to compare two cockatoos side by side.
  • The eyes of most cockatoos carry the key to the bird’s sex. Females have light-colored eyes, while males have dark-colored irises.
  • The only real way to determine the sex of your bird is to take a DNA test. 


A Naughty attitude of Cockatoo Parrot:

You will love to know that Cockatoo parrots are loving and loyal pets, but they can also be playful. They love to chew and, if given the chance, will ruin a poorly constructed cage.


Providing your bird with enough attention and toys to distract him can often control this negative behavior. It is essential not to overfeed the bird so that it becomes even more dependent on you and is able to spend time alone when you are away. Set your limits early on and you should be fine.


Remember, Cockatoo is lovely and caring parrot so provide your bird with a range of toys to play with will be of great benefit. This will keep him busy and allow him to expend some energy on tearing up the appropriate items. Some cockatoos will attach themselves to objects or start using their toys as nesting material.


The Distinctive Crest Cockatoo:

The cockatoo’s distinctive crest above its head can say a lot about how the bird feels. However, understanding his message right now is a bit difficult.


The presence of a high crest is an essential aspect of this bird’s body language. It can refer to a variety of things. It’s a natural part of their mating ritual, for example. A captive cockatoo can dance around the crest to show off to anyone who will listen to it.


For many cockatoo parrots, the crest can be a symbol of hostility or warning. The Umbrella Cockatoo, on the other hand, will ruffle all of its feathers or give you a vicious look while it attacks.


A high crest can also be a polite greeting, a display of curiosity, or a signal that the bird is afraid. It will become easier to read the meaning of this display once you get to know your bird.


Black feathers are extremely rare:

While the majority of cockatoos are white, some have a much darker appearance. The black palm cockatoo is one of the rarest and perhaps the most beautiful species.


Although their plumage looks like a “black”, but it is actually a very dark smoky gray color. Their feathers are accented by bright pinkish-red spots on their cheeks. These characteristics make them one of the most popular cockatoos in the pet industry.


Vocabulary is limited:

Although they are not the most skilled parrots in this area, most cockatoos can be trained to speak. Additionally, keep in mind that not all birds will speak, so this shouldn’t be a key factor when adopting a bird.


  • In a few years, the talkative cockatoo parrot can learn twenty words and simple expressions. They will begin to identify various terms with specific situations as they gain experience. 
  • A bird can learn that “Hello” is said when the sun rises or when its human rises, even if it does not know what that means.
  • They also chat inconsistently quite frequently.


Vulnerable Obesity of Cockatoo Parrot:

Weight gain and obesity are common in pet cockatoos. Keeping an eye on your bird’s nutrition is essential to avoid this.


Cockatoo owners need to give their birds only a small amount of seeds, only when they are fatty. Instead, provide your bird with a range of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables. You can also save foods like almonds and bread for special occasions and not include them in a bird’s daily diet.


An avian veterinarian can also make more detailed nutritional suggestions based on the bird’s body condition.


Life Span of Cockatoo Parrot:

Did you know? A Cockatoo parrot can live over 100 years, but actually it is not true.  Mostly, a Cockatoo can live up to 70 years, but their average life is around 40 years.


How to take care of cockatoo:

Cockatoos are a common parrot species that require a lot of attention and care from their owners. Before you make any decisions about getting a cockatoo as a pet, consider the following suggestions for caring for your cockatoo:


  • Cockatoo parrot is a huge parrot that requires a large cage in which to easily spread their wings and exercise. A small cage will not suffice for a cockatoo parrot. Your parrot may injure themselves in the small cage.
  • Cockatoos require chewing material. As a result, you must provide them with adequate resources, which they can destroy by devouring due to their natural instinct.
  • Because huge parrot requires a lot of energy for their physiological processes and shining feathers, balanced food is essential for Cockatoos.
  • Remember to include foraging in their diet.
  • Cockatoo parrots have a tough and entertaining attitude, and these characteristics clearly demonstrate the question of “what should their diet be?”
  • Because foraging is an innate behavior for them, you must give items such as seeds, nuts, and coconut shells, among other things.
  • Their diet should never be monotonous, and unlike other parrot species, cockatoos do not rely solely on seeds or pellets. As a result, you must also give them attractive items such as fruits and vegetable

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