Bird Families

Large white-crested cockatoo


The white cockatoo parrot (Cacatua Cacatua) tolerates captivity well, these birds are often kept as pets.

The genus Cacatua Cacatua includes several species, among them:

  1. Cacatua sulphurea, Small yellow-crested cockatoo,
  2. Cacatua galerita, Large yellow-crested cockatoo,
  3. Cacatua ophtalmica, Spectacled Cockatoo,
  4. Cacatua Alba, Large White-crested Cockatoo, Alba Cockatoo,
  5. Cacatua moluccensis, Moluccan cockatoo.

White cockatoos live for about 50 years. These birds are easy to learn, they are very trusting and attach to their owner. Their vocabulary is small, the voice of the parrot is loud and raspy. They imitate different sounds well, they imitate well the voices of animals and birds.

The white cockatoo parrot is able to perform various tricks and copes well the movements shown to him. These birds can often be found in circus arenas.


Representatives of this species of parrots are quite large, their body length varies from 35 to 55 cm, and their weight can reach 700 grams. Its tail is small and rounded. The plumage is white, on the crown of the head there is a crest, formed by long feathers.

The color of the crest varies among different species of white cockatoo, it can be orange, yellow or pure white. The color of the underwing and undertail coincides in color with the crest, but somewhat paler. Usually the crest is curved along the back, if the parrot is excited, the feathers on its head bristle and take the form of a crown.

Paws and beak are dark gray. The bird's head is large, the beak is very powerful, the lower part of the beak is wider than the beak, with the help of this “bucket” the white cockatoo parrot easily holds round nuts in its beak. A rough spoon-shaped tongue allows you to handle solid foods.

With its beak, the parrot easily breaks large branches, nuts and other strong objects, including household utensils and rods of the cage. He is able to hurt a person and a pet by biting a soft spot with his beak. It is noticed that females are more “biting”.

Females and males practically do not differ in size, they are distinguished only by the iris. In females of the white cockatoo, it is red-brown, in males it is brown, but darker.


The white cockatoo parrot mates for life. The parrot's breeding season lasts from December to March. To arrange the nest, the couple chooses a tall tree with a deep hollow, it will become their permanent habitat for many years.

The female lays no more than 3 eggs once a year, both parents incubate them. After about 30 days, chicks appear, they fledge only after 2 months. Chicks begin to fly out of the nest at the age of three months, but for another month they are taken care of and fed by their parents. At the age of five, the white cockatoo parrot can already bear offspring and retains this ability up to 30 years.

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A large parrot must be placed in a spacious cage or aviary, it must periodically spread its wings. The minimum dimensions of the cage are 120x90x120 cm. The cage is placed away from drafts, protecting it from direct sunlight.

The metal rods must be at least 4 mm in diameter; the cage must be locked with 2 strong locks. The door should open upwards to make it harder for the parrot to handle. The retractable bottom of the cage makes cleaning work easier. It is advisable to lay a moisture-absorbing material at the bottom.

A house (40x40x100 cm) is placed in a cage, the cockatoo will sleep in it. To maintain activity, birds hang ropes, set perches and tree branches.

It is necessary to carefully monitor the cleanliness and periodically disinfect the accommodation of the parrot: when kept in a cage, this procedure is carried out weekly, the aviary can be processed once a month. The floor in the aviary is cleaned twice a week. Food and drink bowls should be washed daily. Perches, toys and ropes are cleaned as they become dirty.

A container with bathing water must be placed in the cage, you can spray the cockatoo from a spray bottle. The temperature at night should not drop below 8 ° C; the white cockatoo does not need additional lighting. It is necessary to give the cockatoo the opportunity to fly for half an hour every day.

During the breeding season, parrots can show aggression, it is recommended to clip their wings. To equip the nest, a stump of a meter and a half long tree with a cavity inside is placed in the cage. It is suspended at a height of 1 meter and provided with two inlets.


For feeding cockatoos, you can use a special grain mixture, it should make up 70% of the diet. Additionally give nuts: peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts. Fruits - bananas, papaya, pomegranates - will diversify the diet.

Cockatoos love fresh corn. You can also offer them frozen cobs, after defrosting them. Fresh head lettuce is hung on the branches, birds nibble it with pleasure. Use dandelion leaves as a traditional food supplement for parrots.

As mineral additives, cockatoos are given chalk, eggshells, cuttlefish shells. Be sure to add vitamins to your feed. When the couple has chicks, you can put a bowl with baby food - cereals and fruit puree in the cage.

It is enough to feed adult cockatoos 2 times a day, their first meal is early, at 5-6 o'clock in the morning. Young birds are fed more often, up to 4 times a day. There must be a bowl of fresh water in the cage.

The population of white cockatoo in nature is steadily declining. This is due to the disappearance of nesting sites, capture of birds for sale, and shooting for food. Only the ability to breed in captivity prevents the complete destruction of these birds. The parrot adapts well to home conditions, and with proper care, an affectionate tame pet will keep you company for a long time.

Lat. Cacatua alba, eng. White cockatoo

The large white-crested cockatoo was first described by the German zoologist F. Müller in 1776.

The plumage of this species is predominantly white. There is a wide crest on the head, the feathers of which are widened at the ends. When raised, the tuft resembles an open fan or crown. The inner feathers of the wings, tail and tuft are yellow, which is clearly visible when the parrot is excited or flying.

The eyes are dark, the ring around the eyes is bluish-gray. The beak is black-gray. The upper part of the dark gray legs is covered with short white feathers.

Females and males differ primarily in the color of the iris, which is reddish brown in adult females, and dark brown or black in males. In addition, males of the large white cockatoo usually have a wider head and a larger beak. Juveniles differ from adults only in dark gray eyes.

The body length is from 45 to 50 cm, the wing length is from 25 to 31 cm, and the tail is about 20 cm long. The average weight of an adult female reaches 450 grams, and that of a male - 570 grams.

The large white-crested cockatoo is found in low-lying rainforests, mango bushes and river areas on the islands of the Moluccan Archipelago. The habitat includes the islands of Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Bakan, Kasiruta and Mandioli, as well as northern Indonesia. Representatives of this species, found on the Ob and Bisa islands, are the descendants of the birds brought there.

The highest population density is observed in the virgin forest. Recent studies have shown that large white cockatoos prefer the upper level of the forest, but can also inhabit the middle level, as well as around clearings.

They live in pairs or small groups of up to fifteen individuals, but sometimes there are groups of several dozen parrots. They lead a diurnal and, as a rule, a sedentary lifestyle, although they can wander in search of food.

They feed mainly on the fruits of trees, but there is information about the large white-crested cockatoos eating crickets and even small lizards. Of the fruits, papaya, durian, rambutan, langsat and canarium are most commonly used. From time to time they wreak havoc on corn fields by raiding them in large flocks.

The breeding season lasts from April to August. Taking care of the female, the male opens his wings, demonstrates his crest to her, shaking his head back and forth. The female initially avoids the male, but eventually allows him to approach her, after which mutual courtship begins.

During the mating season, couples leave the group and look for a suitable nesting place. Nests are created in the hollows of large trees at a level of 5 to 30 meters above the ground. They usually lay two eggs, which are incubated by both parents. The incubation period is 28 days. Chicks fledge at 13-15 weeks of age. Puberty in young animals occurs in the third year of life. Life expectancy in favorable conditions can reach 60 years.

This species has undergone a rapid population decline, mainly due to unacceptable catch levels, and therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.


They inhabit forests, woodlands, mangroves, felling areas, swamps, agricultural lands, river banks, up to an altitude of 300-900 m above sea level. They keep in pairs, small and large flocks (up to 50 individuals). Careful. They spend most of the day in the crowns of trees. They lead a sedentary lifestyle, with a lack of food they begin to migrate. During the day, they gather in flocks of up to 50 individuals. They spend the night in flocks on freestanding tall trees. Can scratch his back with a branch. He knocks on a tree with a stick, informing other birds that the area is occupied. They feed on fruits (papaya, durian), nuts, grains (corn), seeds, berries, insects (crickets) and their larvae, small reptiles (skinks). During the breeding season, insects make up most of the diet. Causes significant damage to corn fields.


Large White-crested Cockatoo
White-crested cockatoo is a fairly large species of parrots, about 60 cm from beak to tail. The plumage is predominantly white, the underwings and undertail are yellow. The crest is long and wide; when raised, it resembles an inverted umbrella. The beak is black, the paws are black and gray. The periocular ring is bluish-gray. Males have black eyes, females brown.

Other species of the genus "Cockatoo":

  • Large yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
  • Small yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea, Plyctolophus sulphurea)
  • Big-eyed cockatoo (Cacatua sanguinea, Kakatoe sanguinea)
  • Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
  • Nosed cockatoo (Cacatua tenuirostris, Kakatoe tenuirostris)
  • Solomon cockatoo (Cacatua ducorpsii, Plyctolophus ducrops)
  • Filipino cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia, Kakatoe haematuropygia)
  • Goffin's cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana, Cacatua goffini, Kakatoe goffini)

Temperament and behavior

White-crested Cockatoo
White-crested cockatoos are cute, affectionate and docile by nature, which makes them great companions for humans. These birds are rarely aggressive and very quickly become attached to their owners.

In the wild, cockatoos are peaceful and friendly birds. They can usually be seen in small clusters in the treetops.


The species includes 4 subspecies:

  • Cacatua sulphurea abbotti (Oberholser, 1917) - body length up to 40 cm
  • Orange-crested cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata (Fraser, 1844)
  • Cacatua sulphurea parvula (Bonaparte, 1850) - body length up to 33 cm
  • Cacatua sulphurea sulphurea (Gmelin, 1788) - body length up to 38 cm

Depending on the classification, the number of subspecies can vary, and a species can include up to 6 subspecies, including:

  • Cacatua sulphurea djampeana
  • Cacatua sulphurea occidentalis

learn to speak perfectly.


Cockatoos are quite unpretentious in food, but at the same time they are very sensitive to irrational nutrition. The feed should be varied and balanced: grain mixture: oats, wheat, various varieties of millet, pumpkin, sunflower, safflower and hemp seeds, weed seeds, young corn or scalded with boiling water, rice, sunflower sprouts, beans (legumes), rose hips, unripe bananas, apples, carrots, oranges, cherries, grapes, pine nuts, peanuts, young twigs of trees, shrubs and grass.

Adjust the amount of nutrients depending on the season: in winter, a little more safflower and sunflower, and in summer more greenery and shoots. Don't forget the must-have mineral supplements in the form of sepia and mineral stone.

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There is a difference in feeding individuals of different ages. For example, young cockatoos usually eat 3-4 times a day, and adults 1-2 times. In this case, the first feeding should be in the early morning. Filtered clean and fresh water should be available at all times.

The reasons for refusing a parrot can be found in the numerous reviews of cockatoo owners on the Internet. The most popular explanations: the bird screams unbearably all day, is aggressive, bites, breaks everything, does not make contact, one of the family members has an allergy.

Young cockatoos under the age of 3 years scream quite rarely, but do not delude yourself that you are the one who caught a parrot that was not loud by nature. Sooner or later the bird will scream and that's okay.

The cockatoo's cry becomes a problem if the bird cries constantly and this cry becomes more and more like a hysteria.

In addition to the fact that you may come across a parrot with a complex character, your calmness and friendship with the bird depends more on how you bring up an emotional "dancer".

Your attention to the parrot should not be limitless, the bird needs to learn self-sufficiency, so as not to depend entirely on your presence in the future. Approach the parrot when you want, not when the bird calls. Otherwise, you risk becoming a hostage of your own pet, which will scream hysterically until you approach or as soon as you are left alone.

Do not let yourself be ordered, be sure to teach the parrot the word "no", otherwise you will get an indomitable exterminator of everything that is in the room.

In order to demand something from a bird, it is imperative to give it an alternative: the parrot must be constantly puzzled by puzzle toys, strong nibbles, not lacking in your weasel and have constant access to fruits and nuts.

Treat your friend with understanding and help him take time with something interesting and exciting, in a cage the parrot, if possible, should only sleep.

Of course, it is very difficult not to spoil a feathered handsome man when he himself goes to the handles and allows him to stroke him, but keep yourself in control and do not forget that excessive affection for a cockatoo can do no less harm than completely ignoring the bird.

The cockatoo diet is based on a special food with servings of fruits, vegetables and other foods consumed by humans, as an addition to the daily cockatoo diet.

Cockatoos love meals together with a person. However, this does not mean that the cockatoo must necessarily sit at the same table with the owner, but you can give a little of what you yourself eat from the table.

It is important to respect quantity, be careful about quality, and completely avoid avocados, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine, which are toxic to birds. It is undesirable to give foods high in fat. Salt and sugar should be severely limited. Dairy products can only be given in moderation and preferably low in lactose, such as skim milk, yogurt, and most cheeses. Meat can only be given to cockatoos in very small quantities.

Most cockatoos love to take a bath, especially with a splash of water. A spray shower that looks like rain until the cockatoo is completely wet is what they love.

What to feed?

Cockatoo belongs to those poultry that require not only particularly careful care, but also a healthy, balanced and, most importantly, varied diet. In their natural habitat, these birds feed on insects, larvae, and fresh fruits.Such nutrition includes everything that is necessary for the full functioning of the body. That is why, at home, food should not only be satisfying, but also contain a large amount of trace elements and vitamins.

The main rule in drawing up a diet for a cockatoo is to find the ideal middle, in which the parrot would not experience prolonged hunger, but would not be overfed. Changing the diet with the gradual addition of new products and feed is also one of the important conditions for the proper nutrition of this bird.

The daily feeding of a young cockatoo is divided into 3 or 4 stages with the gradual addition of a small amount of food. For adults, 2-3 servings per day will be sufficient. The food of these birds is based on grain mixtures, seeds, nuts, corn, almonds. At the same time, the food should be as fresh as possible, the cockatoos are squeamish about already stagnant food and would rather remain hungry than try spoiled food.

Due to their unique ability to adapt to the external environment, cockatoos have a positive attitude towards the consumption of many vegetables and fruits. From vegetables, they like beets, eggplants, cucumbers, carrots, green beans. Parrots cannot do without fruit, preferring not only the pulp, but also the bones, which contain many nutrients for their development.

Before serving, the fruit should be cut into slices so that the parrot can safely take them in his paw. Do not leave fruits or other food in the cage for a long time - immediately remove them so that they do not start to deteriorate and the bird does not poison them. Young cockatoos may not eat anything except sunflower seeds for a long time. In this case, try to gradually add more fruit to the diet and reduce the simultaneous supply of seeds.

Of course, there are also foods that should not be given to parrots even in the smallest quantities.

  • It is worth immediately deleting all sweets from the diet, as well as foods with a high sugar content. This is especially true for sweets and chocolate products. The fact is that sugar contains substances harmful to parrots that affect their digestion processes.
  • Avoid giving the cockatoo fatty, fried, salty, or pickled food under any circumstances. All of these foods can be very loved by your bird, but they will negatively affect its body anyway.
  • Refuse to add milk to the diet, it contains lactose, which is harmful to parrots, which they cannot process purely physiologically. Because of this, birds may experience intestinal disorders, diarrhea.
  • For individuals of a large type, it is not recommended to give fruits with large kernels - in order to avoid swallowing the whole seeds by the parrot.
  • Forget about pirate movies and never give your crested friend alcohol as food or drink. Even the smallest dose of alcohol can have a lethal effect on the organs of a bird.
  • Of all the common fruits and vegetables, cockatoo is strictly forbidden to give avocados. This fruit contains a huge percentage of fat that the body of this bird will not be able to process. It is also not recommended to give parsley, cabbage and coffee.

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Consult an experienced zoologist or veterinarian before adding new fruits, vegetables, grains, and other foods to your diet. He will help you not only exclude harmful substances from the diet, but also draw up a detailed diet of the bird for the near future.

Large white-crested cockatoo (Cacatua alba, Plyctolophus alba)

Large white-crested cockatoo (Cacatua alba, Plyctolophus alba) - a species of parrots of the cockatoo family (Cacatuidae).

The large white-crested cockatoo was first described in 1776 by the German zoologist Stacy Müller (pseudonym - Philipp Alethophilus).

Body length 45-50 cm, wing 25-31 cm, tail about 20 cm, weight up to 600 g.

The plumage is white with shine. Undertail and underwings are yellow. The crest is white and forms a crown when raised. The periocular ring is bluish-gray. Paws and beak are black-gray.

Sex differences: the distinguishing feature of males from females is the color of the iris of the eyes. In females, it is a light red-brown shade, in males it is dark brown.

Habitat: The Moluccan archipelago and the islands of Tidor, Batyan, Ternate, Obi and Halmacher.

They inhabit forests, woodlands, mangroves, felling areas, swamps, agricultural lands, river banks, up to an altitude of 300-900 m above sea level. They keep in pairs, small and large flocks (up to 50 individuals). Careful.

They spend most of the day in the crowns of trees. They lead a sedentary lifestyle, with a lack of food they begin to migrate. They spend the night in flocks on freestanding tall trees. They can scratch their back with a branch. They knock on a tree with a stick, notifying other birds that the area is occupied.

They feed on fruits (papaya, durian), nuts, grains (corn), seeds, berries, insects (crickets) and their larvae, small reptiles (skinks). During the breeding season, insects make up most of the diet. Causes significant damage to corn fields.

Monogamous, couples form for life. May become deeply depressed away from a partner. They nest in hollows and tops of rotten trees, at a height of 5-30 m. Usually 2-3 eggs in a clutch. Both parents hatch eggs. The incubation period lasts 28-30 days, chicks fledge by 2 months of age. Only one brood is hatched per year.

These are very trusting and affectionate parrots. Among them there are individuals capable of reproducing "colloquial speech", and less capable, but they all have an artistic gift. In solitary confinement, they require increased attention.

Life expectancy is 50-70 years.

Conservation status: “Vulnerable” (vulnerable species) ”.

Vulnerable species (VU) - the conservation status assigned to species that are at risk of becoming endangered. They need monitoring of the number and rate of reproduction, as well as measures to help preserve their habitat.

Some taxonomists define this species as endangered.

Endangered species (EN) - biological species that are under the threat of extinction due to their critically small number or the impact of certain environmental factors.

Synonyms: Large white-crested cockatoo, Plyctolophus alba, Plyctolophus alba.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animals
Type: Chordates
Class: Birds
Order: Parrots
Family: Cockatoo
Genus: Cockatoo
Species: Large white-crested cockatoo