White cockatoo

The white cockatoo ( Cacatua alba ) or white-crested cockatoo is a species of bird in the family Cacatuidae endemic to the Moluccas archipelago in Indonesia.


The white-crested cockatoo is a large parrot, very similar to the Moluccan cockatoo in appearance but much smaller in size, except that its plumage and its large crest are entirely white except for the inside of the crest, the underside of the tail and the inside of the wings which are yellow.

This bird measures between 45 and 50 cm and weighs an average of 900 g. Its legs and beak are greyish, contrasting with its entirely white plumage and crest.

The female is smaller than the male and has red eyes, unlike the male which has brown ones. Both sexes have a large white erectile crest. It lives 50 to 60 years in captivity.

White cockatoo habitat

white umbrella cockatoo

This species is endemic to the province of North Moluccas in Indonesia where it occurs on the islands of Halmahera, Bacan, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta, and Mandible. It lives in primary and secondary forests as well as in plantations 2.

Cockatoo behavior

In the wild, you can easily hear its powerful and repetitive calls. It moves very high above the trees and rarely descends.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo usually moves in flocks of 20 birds. The male cockatoo has more aggressive behavior than the female, which is quite gentle overall.

In captivity, they are birds that like to show off and get all the attention. To do this, they will dance, sing, tumble, and sometimes shout excessively. They also have their moments of relaxation during which they want to be caressed and rocked.

White cockatoo diet

cockatoo white

In the wild, its diet consists of seeds, fruits, and roots. It also feeds in the fields and does considerable damage there.


Cacatua alba egg – Toulouse Museum
It nests in tree cavities. The female usually lays 2 eggs which both parents incubate in turn for about 28 days. The young reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years of age.

Status in the natural state

This species is very endangered in its natural state, it is only found on two small islands in Indonesia and this cockatoo is still the subject of intense animal traffic.

white cockatoo bird

IUCN status

This species of Cacatuidae is listed as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

umbrella cockatoos

“This species has experienced rapid population declines, primarily due to unsustainable levels of exploitation, and the decline in numbers is expected to continue very rapidly in the future, in anticipation of an expected future rate of forest habitat loss and continued pressure from illegal trade. It has therefore been re-evaluated to the status of “Threatened with extinction” 1 ”.
White Cockatoos are relatively calmer than their smaller counterparts (like Goffin’s Cockatoos ), but that doesn’t make them easy companions.

Cockatoos need play areas that are clearly designated for them: a furnished playground is a minimum in order to prevent them from getting depressed and pecking (voluntarily tearing out their feathers).

If the parrot does not have its own play facilities, it will attack the furniture.

It is a very destructive parrot: it is, therefore, necessary to change its toys as often as possible because no material resists it for long. Getting him to forage for food is a good way to keep him busy.

This cockatoo needs a varied diet because it is easy for it to become overweight. The cockatoo should not feed only on seeds because these will only engorge its liver, which will cause abnormal growth of the bird’s beak.

An aviary 4 m long, 1.50 m wide, and 2 m high should meet his needs. “Barrel” type nesting boxes reinforced with iron and about 70 cm high will be necessary for their reproduction.

Cockatoos require a good education involving the learning of autonomy facilitating things, but this will not detract from the fact that the cockatoo requires human attention several hours a day.

A poorly educated cockatoo (especially a male) can become a dangerous animal, of its size, its strength, and its combative attitude.

Their ability to speak is not very great, but they can nevertheless say a few words or even a few sentences.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo likes to bathe in summer like all other birds.

White cockatoo pet

SOURCE: African Grey Parrot Pet

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