Cockatoo Care Guide – Types, Lifespan & More

Cockatoo black palm 1

Thinking about getting a Cockatoo?

These birds are very smart and active creatures that make excellent pets for just about anyone.


Most species of cockatoo have just one primary color. Some of these birds are solid white, while others are grey or even black.

These birds can measure anywhere from 12 to 25 inches long with a weight of 3 to 11 ounces. It all depends on the species.

Cockatoo Lifespan

A cockatoo can live anywhere from 10 to 60 years. The cockatiel has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years, while the White Cockatoo can live from 40 to 60 years.

Types of Cockatoos

There are many different types of cockatoos that people keep as pets, including:

  • Black Palm Cockatoo: The Black Palm Cockatoo is a large and powerful bird that is characterized by a gray plumage and a little bit of red under the eyes.
  • Citron Cockatoo: The Citron is a fairly quiet bird that doesn’t make much noise. It is mostly white with orange patches and yellow stripes on its wings.
  • Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo: This particular species is quite big and has a vibrant yellow and orange crest with pinkish white plumage.
  • Moluccan cockatoo: The Moluccan has white plumage with pink feathers on the crist as well as yellow under its wings.
  • Goffin’s Cockatoo: The Goffin’s Cockatoo is mostly white with a grey beak and feet. It needs lots of attention and exposure to people. Too much isolation can cause these birds to engage in destructive behaviors.
Cockatoo on tree

The Cockatoo’s Personality

Cockatoos are definitely curious creatures with a high degree of intelligence. They are easy to train and can vocalize a large number of words and phrases. These birds can get bored very easily, which means they need a lot of attention.

It is important to keep in mind that cockatoos can act out when they are jealous. This means that it is not a good idea to have them around babies or small children.

While not all cockatoos are noisy, you shouldn’t count on yours to be very quiet. They love to make all sorts of sounds, which can be a problem if you live in an apartment.

Natural Habitat

The Cockatoo can be found in a variety of areas that range of lush forests to mangroves. They live in places all over the world, including Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and even New Guinea. There are many of these birds in rainforests.

Cockatoo Care Guide

1. Cockatoo Diet

It is very important to provide your cockatoo with a varied diet that consists of seeds, berries, nuts, and vegetables. There are a number of pellet products that are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of these birds.

You should give your cockatoo mostly pellets each day to keep it as healthy as possible. It is perfectly fine to feed them the occasional piece of piece of celery or lettuce. These birds cannot eat avocado, as it can have a toxic effect.

Goffin’s Cockatoo

2. Environment

The bigger your cockatoo’s cage, the better off it will be. Even a small cockatoo requires a cage that measures at least 27 by 27 by 39 inches. You should put a perch or two in the cage as well. Your bird needs to have numerous toys and things that it can play with while you are not around.

It is very important that you keep the cockatoo’s cage in a part of your home where people tend to be. This will keep it company and prevent it from feeling too isolated, which can be a big problem with these birds.

You also need to make sure that the cage you put your cockatoo in has horizontal bars that are conducive to climbing. This will help keep the bird’s claws trimmed down.

3. Common Health Problems

As long as you take good care of your cockatoo, you won’t have to worry about it becoming seriously ill.

There are a few things to look out for with these birds, including:

  • Excessive picking or plucking of feathers
  • Screaming on a regular basis
  • Tucking one of its feet up
  • Lack of appetite
  • Problems moving around

These birds can have problems with parasites that affect their intestinal tracts. The sooner you notice these signs, the easier it will be to keep your bird healthy.

4. Grooming

If your cockatoo does not wear down its beak and claws enough on its own, you will need to get them trimmed. It is recommended that you see a vet with lots of avian experience for this.

By providing your bird with plenty of things to climb and chew on, regular trimming should not be necessary.

Cockatoo eating

Cockatoo Price

The amount of money you pay for a cockatoo depends primarily on the species. A Galah cockatoo can cost anywhere from $700 to 2,200. The Goffins Cockatoo costs between ,000 and ,000. There are other more expensive species, such as the Palm Cockatoo, which costs an average of $16,000. Age and health aren’t big factors in price like with other birds.


  • Cockatoos can live anywhere from 10 to 60 years, depending on the species and how well it is cared for.
  • You should feed your cockatoo specially formulated pellets for a majority of their diet. The occasional nuts, berries, and vegetables are acceptable.
  • Cockatoos need large enclosures with plenty of toys, perches and other things to keep them occupied.
  • Some cockatoos develop problems with intestinal parasites. Pay attention for any loss of appetite or excessive feather plucking.
  • Most of these birds are pretty good about keeping their nails and beak trimmed. If they begin to grow too long, you will need to visit the vet.
  • The overall cost of a cockatoo largely depends on the breed. You could pay as little as $500 or as much as $16,000 for one of these birds.
  • Keep cockatoos away from babies and small children, as they can get very jealous of them.
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