Bird Families

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


Study history

Nosed cockatoo (Latin Cacatua tenuirostris, synonym Kakatoe tenuirostris) is a bird of the cockatoo family.


Distributed in the southeast of Australia.


Parrot length 40 cm, tail 12 cm, weight about 500-600 g. The plumage is white. Unlike other cockatoos, its beak is longer than its height. There are red spots on the throat and goiter. The unfeathered area around the eyes is grayish-blue. There is a transverse red stripe on the forehead, the eye area and frenulum are of the same color. Male and female have the same color, but the male has a longer beak.


They nest in hollows of eucalyptus trees growing near water. The bottom is lined with wood dust. The same nesting site has been used for several years. When there is a shortage of suitable trees, they dig holes in the soft mud. Several pairs can nest on the same tree. In clutch there are 2-4 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 25-29 days. Chicks fledge at the age of 55-57 days.


It feeds on seeds, fruits, nuts, roots, grains, buds, flowers, bulbs, berries, insects and their larvae. The long-nosed cockatoo flies to feed in large flocks. It feeds mainly on the ground, using its beak as a plow.


He spends the night near the water. Early in the morning he flies to a watering hole. In hot times of the day, a long-nosed cockatoo rests in the crown of trees. During feeding in open areas, 1-2 birds play the role of guards, which, in case of danger, take off into the air with a loud squeal.


The large white-crested cockatoo is a fairly large bird. The average size is 45-50 cm. Some individuals can grow up to 70 cm. The weight of a parrot usually does not exceed 600 g. The plumage of the bird is noble white. Feathers are even, of the same size. The exception is the crest - here they are slightly bent, in a calm state they lie on the back, they can have yellow, black and pink colors. On the tail, feathers are shortened, sometimes rounded.

Alba cockatoo appearance

The beak is very strong, dark gray or black in color. It is quite wide and occupies a third of the bird's head.

The parrot has massive legs, as it rarely flies. The white cockatoo moves mainly by clinging to tree branches or mountain stones.

Alba's intelligence and character

Alba is a smart bird. She remembers well and repeats sounds, movements, so it is easy to train. The nature of the bird is affectionate and friendly. The breeder should take into account that the parrot will require a lot of attention. The means of communication of the white cockatoo is a loud cry, and a raised crest and spread wings are a sign of discontent. You need to train the bird from the first day.

General characteristics

Alba belongs to the species of large parrots, has a loud voice. In the wild, the bird behaves carefully, lives in pairs. Females and males almost do not differ in size and color of plumage. The difference lies in the shade of the irises of the eyes - in males, it is darker. Breeders point out one more difference. According to their observations, females are usually more "biting", but the behavior of the bird will depend more on upbringing.

General characteristics of the alba parrot

Things to Consider Before Purchasing White Crested Cockatoo

The life span of white-crested cockatoos in captivity is 40-60 years. Therefore, it is necessary to have in mind people who can always take care of your pets in unforeseen circumstances.

Cockatoo cage and toys

Make sure you have enough free time and money to care for these pets. The cost of white-crested cockatoos starts at $ 1,500. It should be noted that in addition to this amount, you still have to spend on a spacious cage (min. 0.6m x 0.6m x 1m), food, toys and a visit to the veterinarian.

A varied and healthy diet is a vital factor for the cockatoo, as the ugly diet of the birds causes health problems. Parrots should never be fed onions, garlic, avocado or chocolate. These foods are toxic to cockatoos.

For a person who can satisfy all the needs of these wonderful birds, white-crested cockatoos will become the best feathered companions.

Wildlife habitat

The range of the white cockatoo is made up of the countries of Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, New Guinea. Birds prefer mango forests and tall trees; Albs are also found in marshy areas, on the banks of rivers.

Cockatoo parrots live in flocks of about 50 individuals. They spend most of the day on tree branches. Birds move in jumps, rarely fly. They behave carefully, in case of danger, they warn the flock by knocking on a tree with their beak. Albs feed in the wild on berries, nuts, fruits, insects and seeds.

Feeding and feeding behavior

Cockatoo feeds mainly on a variety of plant foods. They eat the fruits of various trees (papaya, durian), happily eat nuts, corn grains, as well as mushrooms, insects and their larvae, etc. Flocks of cockatoos can cause significant damage to crops, especially corn.

In the morning, a flock of cockatoos feeds, carefully observing what is happening around. Any event causes a lively reaction, especially if another flock flies by. Its flight is accompanied by loud cheers.

Having satiated, by about noon, the cockatoo fly away to the resting place, and for a while it becomes quiet around. After resting, the birds again go to feed.

Maintenance and care

Since the white cockatoo is quite a wayward bird, it requires careful care and certain conditions of detention. Difficulties may arise due to the fact that this parrot is quite large and requires a lot of free space. You need to pay attention to the nutrition and education of the pet.

Cage requirements

The white cockatoo needs a large cage, the parameters of which are at least 120x90x120 cm.The best option would be an aviary 6x2x2 m in size.

The bird has a powerful beak, with which it is able to gnaw through thin metal rods, so they should not be thinner than 4 mm. The parrot will move around the cage, clinging to the rods, so the distance between them should be at least 2.5 cm. It is advisable to make the top of the dwelling in the form of a dome, and put sawdust or moisture-absorbing material on the bottom, which can be purchased at any pet store.

For the comfort of the parrot in the cage, you need to place:

  • at least three perches with a diameter of about 28 mm and a length of 23 cm,
  • the rungs should be located at different levels, on one of them you can place a feeder and a drinker,
  • for sleeping, it is advisable to equip the cage with an inner house, the average size of which is 40x100x40 cm,
  • feeders must be heavy so that the bird cannot overturn them during play,
  • the aviary can be decorated with stones, in wildlife, cockatoo like to sit on them,
  • so that the animal does not get bored, rings, ladders and ropes are placed in the cage,
  • a piece of chalk or cuttlefish shell should be present, this is especially true during the molting period,
  • a bathing tank should be placed in the aviary, or daily water procedures should be carried out with the parrot,
  • The cockatoo loves to play and chew on various objects, so we equip the cage with a variety of toys that require frequent updating.

Requirements and parameters of a cage for a parrot
It should be remembered that the feeders need to be cleaned daily, there should always be fresh water in the drinker. The floor of the cage and aviary must be kept clean.


Feed the white cockatoo twice a day. It is worth considering that the parrot's first meal is early - at 6 o'clock in the morning. The poultry diet should be varied and rich in vitamins and minerals.

The menu must include the following products:

  • fresh vegetables, especially cockatoos like corn and carrots,
  • greens, it can be: celery, dandelion leaves, lettuce, turnip tops,
  • fruit,
  • special feed mixture for parrots,
  • wheat grain, millet, oats,

Sometimes we treat Alba with yogurt, boiled egg, we give such additives no more than once every 4-5 days.

Do not offer poultry fried food, parsley, chocolate, sugar, salt, avocado.

Swamp-crested Cockatoo as pets

Big White-crested Kakakdu
As mentioned earlier, white-crested cockatoos are large birds that require a large cage and space to play. They can also be quite noisy and are not suitable for people living in close proximity to neighbors. These birds need sound, healthy sleep for 10 to 12 hours daily. This is very important for their health and comfort.

These parrots are very intelligent and social birds, so it is important to stimulate their brain activity on a daily basis. An experienced cockatoo owner should always have a variety of toys ready, and also devote his pets at least 2-3 hours every day to socialize. These extraordinary birds are very fond of affection and attention, so a loving owner is a prerequisite for their happy existence.

With the right approach, cockatoos can be taught a variety of tricks and speech imitation skills, making them fun and entertaining pets for the whole family. It's no wonder these adorable creatures are so popular.

Features of education

The white cockatoo is very friendly and needs a lot of attention. But do not spoil the bird and spend all your free time with it. Various toys, for example, pyramids, rings and balls, will help educate the cockatoo. You can use bells and rattles to practice sound simulation.

In order for the bird to understand when it is correctly fulfilling our requirements, it can be encouraged with nuts or pieces of fruit. Cockatoo are capable of understanding the "no" command, but this will require a few training sessions. Alba can learn a maximum of 15 words.

Animal in the Moscow Zoo

In the Moscow Zoo, large white cockatoos have been kept for a long time. A couple of cockatoos now live in the Birds and Butterflies pavilion on the Zoo's New Territory. So that these smart birds do not get bored, tree branches are periodically placed in their aviary, which they pluck with pleasure. For climbing, ropes are hung in the aviary, cockatoo not only climb on them, but also pinch them. Their beak is very powerful, they are capable of cracking nuts with their beak and biting off branches as thick as a finger!

Cockatoo is fed with a special grain mixture, nuts are given - walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and peanuts, seeds. Parrots get a variety of fruits: bananas, papayas, avocados, oranges, pomegranates, etc.

Head lettuce is hung on the branches. Cockatoo is very fond of fresh corn. In the summer, the zoo buys corn on the cob, the cobs are frozen and in the winter they are given to the parrots, after defrosting.

During the period of feeding the chick, baby food - milk porridge - is placed in the cockatoo aviary. Cockatoo appreciated this help, because now they do not need to process solid food for the chick and regurgitate it, the porridge is already ready for use.

Our cockatoos are very caring, loving parents. With the help of a camera installed in the nest, it was possible to spy on their family life. They take care of their offspring together. The chick sits in the nest for three months. Parents "lick" their child so carefully that by the time he leaves the nest he looks plucked.


The parrot will be shy at first. He needs time to get used to his new home. After two days, he will finally acclimatize, become calm and trusting. In order for the bird to quickly get used to you, you need to talk, stroke, play with it. It is recommended to let the parrot out of the cage for at least an hour a day. The cockatoo loves to play, frequent activities with the pet will help to tame it faster.

The basics of taming the alba parrot


In the wild, the white cockatoo mates for life. Breeding time in parrots lasts from December to March. The couple settles in a hollow of a tall tree, and lives there for many years. Currently, the bird population is on the verge of extinction and is maintained mainly through breeding in nurseries.

The female can lay no more than three eggs in one year, the pair incubates them together. The chick hatches after 30 days. The plumage process takes about 60 days. When the parrot is three months old, it can be taken from the nest. Only an individual that has reached five years old is capable of reproducing. Reproductive functions persist in birds for thirty years.

Reproduction and rearing of offspring

With the onset of the mating season, in April, the white cockatoo pair up. Having found a suitable hollow, preferably deep, the birds build a nest in it. If the entrance to the hollow is too small, the cockatoo expands it with the help of their powerful beak. They process the input even if for some reason they do not like it. Since it is not often possible to find a good hollow, a pair occupies the same hollow from year to year.

Nowadays, due to industrial deforestation of large hollow trees, there are fewer and fewer, and this affects the number of cockatoos.

At the bottom of the hollow, birds make a litter of wood dust. In a clutch there are usually 1 - 2 white rounded eggs. Incubation begins after the first egg has been laid. According to observations in captivity, eggs are usually incubated by a female. After 28-33 days, naked blind chicks are born.

Free life

The yellow cockatoo likes to live in flocks of up to 30 birds. At the same time, they sleep on the tops of trees. They are most active early in the morning or late in the evening.

During the day, yellow cockatoos look for food in trees, rarely on the earth's surface. On the trees they cluster in large flocks, where they eat pine nuts, buds, flowers, various insects, etc. On the ground, they feed on plant roots.

The voice of the yellow-crested cockatoo parrots is quite loud and shrill. They may scream when flying or are very frightened. Their cry can be heard at great distances. Whistling or gurgling may also be heard. The life span of parrots is from 60 to 80 years.

Small yellow-crested cockatoo

The small yellow-crested cockatoo species includes 4 subspecies:

  • Cacatua sulphurea abbotti.
  • Cacatua sulphurea citrinocrist (orange-crested).
  • Cacatua sulphurea parvula.
  • Cacatua sulphurea sulphurea.

The body length of the small yellow-crested cockatoo is from 33 to 38 cm, the wings are 21-27 cm, the feathers that cover the ears are bright yellow. The average life span of the small yellow-crested cockatoo is 45 years. They do not lend themselves well to learning to speak, but they are well trained and can perform in circus performances.

The small yellow-crested cockatoo's voice is rough, even croaking, and quickly turns into squealing. The color of the tuft can be yellow or orange.

Keeping white cockatoo Alba

Although these birds are rare, they are very often kept in captivity. They are kept in metal cages with a pull-out bottom or in aviaries. The minimum cell size is 120x90x120 centimeters. The diameter of the rods should not be less than 4 millimeters. The cage must be closed with two secure locks. The bottom of the cage is covered with any material that absorbs moisture well. Inside there should be a wooden house measuring 40x40x100 centimeters in which the parrot will sleep.

The food and water bowl is washed every day. As they become dirty, they clean the perches, ladders, toys. The aviary is disinfected once a month, and the cage - once a week. The floor in the aviary is cleaned twice a week.

The night temperature should be at least 8 degrees. Natural light is enough for white cockatoos. The constant presence of eucalyptus branches and fruit trees in the cage is mandatory. A pond is necessary, as cockatoos love to swim every day.

There must be at least 3 perches in the cage, they are hung at different heights. One should be near the feeder. Also in the cockatoo cage there should be ropes, ladders, several large stones on which the bird will sit.

These birds can be sprayed with a spray bottle.