Cockatoos as pets are also known as “Verco” parrots. They are highly sociable pets, and they are also known for their obsessiveness because they want to be around people most of the time.
Out of 402 species of parrots, the cockatoo group has 21 different species that inhabit different parts of the world. Their scientific family name is called Cacatuidae. However, most of the Cockatoo species are found in the regions of Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, and some parts of Guinea.
Cockatoo parrot personality
Cockatoos are different from other parrots and have their unique and distinguishing properties. The most prominent feature of Cockatoo parrot is their “crest.” They also have different and beautiful transitions of colors. However, with such friendly birds, they demand proper care, lobe, and attention from you. They are somehow emotional parrots and intelligent at the same time.
Cockatoo parrot, unlike other parrots, do not have many vibrant colors, and they are found in subtle and dull shades like black, white, grey, and pink. They are found in all sizes; large, medium, and small. They can live for more than 30 years and mostly up to 60 years. As pets, they are highly recommended because they love to be around you, and they are fond of interaction.
How to take care of Cockatoo?
Cockatoos are abundant species of parrots, and hence they require a lot of care and attention from their owners. Before making any decisions about having a cockatoo parrot keep in mind these following guidelines regarding how to take care of your pet cockatoo:
- Cockatoos are large parrots; hence they need spacious cages to open up their wings easily and exercise well. A small cage will not be enough for a cockatoo parrot because they will ultimately destroy it, and in this process, they might damage themselves too.
- Cockatoos need something to chew on. Therefore, you have to give them ample resources, which they can destroy by eating because of their instinct.
- Cockatoo parrots are needy pets, and too much attention can make them permanent of you, and if you fail to manage your time with them, they may develop behavioral issues like screaming.
- Never give them too much attention when you bring it to your home instead let them be for a while. Allow to play them with toys etc.
- The above point helps your cockatoo parrot to entertain itself when you are not near.
- A nutritious diet is a must for Cockatoo because large parrots need a lot of energy for their body processes and shiny feathers.
- Remember to put a foraging element in their diet.
- Cockatoos have a challenging and exciting personality, and these traits clearly show the idea of “what their diet should be?”.
- Foraging is their instinctual habit, and therefore you have to provide things like seeds, nuts, and coconut shells, etc.
- Their food should never be boring, and as compared to other parrot’s species, cockatoos do not depend on seeds or pellets only. Therefore you have to provide them with exciting things like fruits and veggies too.
What is the difference between a parrot and a cockatoo?
Cockatoos belong to the family “Cacatuidae” and are the subfamily of the group “Psittaciformes.” In actuality, cockatoos are parrots, but they are not true parrots. The whole genre of parrots is divided into three subfamilies:
- True parrots
It is done because these three groups have different characteristics, and therefore, they cannot be placed in the one same group. The most distinguishing factor about cockatoos is their “crest”. Cockatoos can move their crests back and forward and even up and down whenever they feel aroused, excited or threatened. Whereas, true parrots do not display this feature. On the other hand, cockatoo parrot also do not have oil glands that are responsible for preening in true parrots. Preening is a process in which birds and parrots clean themselves up with their beaks. But cockatoos do this process using another technique. Instead of oil cockatoos produce large amounts of powders/ dust in their feathers. This dust is responsible for the safety of their feathers, and also it keeps them clean. However, people who are allergic might not like cockatoos as pets due to this dust issue.
10 top pet cockatoo species
Cockatoo parrot are very beautiful, and one of the most desirable pets that everyone wants, but they are not easy to handle and take care of. They have beautiful feathers and the prominent crest, but they still need a lot of care and attention. If you are okay with all these factors and want to have cockatoos as your pets, these are the most common ten species of cockatoos that people love to have as pets.
Bare-eyed cockatoos are one of the smallest species of cockatoos. They are white with a glitch of pink on their face. They have grey beak and grey or blue around their eyes too. They can grow up to 16 inches and can weigh about 16 ounces. Therefore they are an excellent option as pets for families with children. If you can not afford a large bird and it is hard for you to take care of it, you can go for this Cockatoo. They may not be gorgeous as compared to other cockatoos, but they are very friendly, socializing, and love to be around you.
These cockatoos as a pets have the primary grey color as the base and have a very long crest. Their beak and feet are also grey. Red color can be seen around their cheeks. Their length is about 24 inches and can weigh 42 ounces at maximum. These are abundant species of cockatoos and need an owner that is experienced about parrots. Black -palm
Cockatoos can be trained for hand feeding. They are brave and powerful cockatoo parrot and may not be suitable for everyone. However, for the owners that see their beauty and are not afraid of that long beak can surely have it.
These cockatoos are also white with some orange coloration on their cheeks. They also have orange colors inside their wings. They have a prominent orange-yellow crest and have grey beak and feet. They are too large cockatoos with a length of 14 inches and can weigh about 16 ounces.
As compared to other species of cockatoos, these cockatoos are shy and do not make much noise. However, once tamed, they make excellent companions and are very friendly too. These parrots require a lot of time from you, so be prepared for many socializing hours. They have mysterious and curious personalities, and they love to play.
These are one of the prettiest cockatoos and have yellow crests. White in color, they have grey beak and feet. They can grow up to 20 inches and can weigh 31 ounces.
They are very intelligent cockatoo parrot, and they need a lot of space and time to play. They love to be around their owners as well. If they are not provided with adequate care and attention, they develop some destructive behaviors like breaking up their feathers and chewing that goes destructive. Therefore they need a lot of time from their owners for care and playing.
Goffin’s cockatoo parrot:
Like most of the cockatoos, their plumage is also white. The yellow color is present beneath the wings. Pink color surrounds their beak and is also present near the crest. They have grey beaks and feet. They can grow about 13 inches and can weigh 15 ounces.
These cockatoos are inherently social and cannot live if you do not provide them with socializing hours. In the wild, these cockatoos live in pairs and flocks; therefore, it is tough for them to survive if they feel neglected. They can develop antisocial behaviors due to negligence, so if you can’t afford a lot of time with your pet, these parrots are not suitable for you.
Major Mitchell’s cockatoo:
They are also beautiful cockatoos with pink plumage. They have a magnificent colored crest with pink and orange colors, and white is present on the tips. They also have a pink glow on the lower side of their bellies. They weigh 15 ounces and have a length of 14 inches.
Though they are beautiful to see, yet they need a lot of care and attention from their owners. These are brilliant birds and make strong bonds with their owners and the people they surround. As they are large cockatoos, they need a lot of space that everyone does not have, so they are not a good option.
They are also white cockatoos with mostly pink colored feathers. Their crest is very colorful, containing colors like red, orange, yellow, and pink. They have black beaks and feet. They can grow about 20 inches and weigh 30 ounces.
Like other cockatoos, they are also knowledgeable. They are affectionate birds that require a lot of care and attention. It may be strange, but they like to be around you all the time and ask for cuddles from you. So expect these behaviors if you are looking forward to having a Moluccan cockatoo.
These cockatoos as a pats have stunning transitions of red, white, black, and grey colors. They have black and grey wings. The pink color is present near their mouth and in the chest area. They have grey beaks, and their feet appear to be tanned.
Their vibrant colors and beautiful personalities have made these cockatoo parrot very famous as pets. Surprisingly, these birds in captivity can live for almost 80 years. So be prepared for a long-lasting pet.
They are large cockatoos with a length of 18 inches and a weight of 26 ounces. They are primarily white with black beaks, and yellow splashes are present on the wings and the tails. The crest is also white, and they have some light blue circles around their eyes.
These cockatoos can be tamed and trained for hand feeding and can make excellent pets and companions. They are also good learners and can mimic sounds and speech. They are very social and require a lot of time from you. But they are trendy pets and even suitable for children above 10.
They are also one of the largest cockatoos with a length of 20 inches, and they weigh almost about 23 ounces. They are white with some pink plumage, and pink colour is also present around their beaks and necks. They have large mandibles, and their crest is small as compared to other cockatoos.
They are known as billed corellas and are kept as pets widely in Australia. Now they are equally famous in other countries as well. Like other large cockatoos, they also need a lot of care and attention from their owners.
Is Cockatoo the right pet?
Taking care of them properly and providing them with all necessary attention and proper diet, Cockatoos will make remarkable pets. They are knowledgeable, adventurous, mysterious, and affectionate birds. They love to be with you, and some species of Cockatoo are very cuddly. The only problem with them is that if they do not enjoy several hours of socialization, they may develop odd behaviors like the plucking of their wings and scream. They also need a spacious cage to live in. Therefore keep this point in mind too while going for a cockatoo parrot pet.
Can a Cockatoo talk?
Some species of cockatoos can mimic the sounds and some parts of speech. However, as compared to Asian parrots, they won’t talk that fluently. Cockatoos like Sulfur crested cockatoo and Umbrella cockatoos love to be around, and therefore they can copy several activities and sounds that surround them. However, they have to be tamed and adequately trained for that purpose. Young cockatoos can learn more quickly and efficiently than adult parrots. The more time you give them, the more chances for them to learn new things. Parrots bought from poor breeders and are adults have stubborn behaviors, and they cannot be tamed easily.
Why are cockatoos so expensive?
The price of cockatoos depends on which species you are buying? It also depends whether you are buying it from a proper breeder or you just found them in a shelter. Commonly, cockatoos can be purchased almost for $800 to $2000. But some species of cockatoos are scarce; therefore, they are very costly and expensive, for example, the black palm cockatoo.
If you buy a cockatoo from a rescue, it will be less expensive than when you buy it from a breeder. However, rescue cockatoos are mostly adults and cannot be tamed easily.
Are Cockatoos crazy?
Cockatoos are sometimes called crazy because of their nervous temperaments and low vital behaviors. These birds can quickly develop psychological issues like biting, screaming, feather plucking, etc. They also may be clingy sometimes because they want too much attention. Cockatoos are not easy pets, and therefore one should not be going for cockatoos as their first pets. One should have some experience regarding dealing with large pets; otherwise, it would be complicated to live with a cockatoo.
Will a cockatoo fly away?
If you openly leave a cockatoo, it will fly away. Even if you trust them and they are trained and tamed, they will still fly away when kept in the open environments. They are only safe as long as they are in the cage. Several things can induce them to fly away. For example, they may get scared due to an airplane or some cat, and a dog’s bark may scare them away. Once they flew, it became complicated for them to sort a way back to their homes.
How much time do you need to spend with a cockatoo?
Cockatoos are socializing pets. They make secure connections and bonds with the people who surround them. Some species of cockatoos love to have cuddles. They want to be with you all the time, and therefore you have to manage the socializing hours. Do not let your Cockatoo becoming fond of you and too much of your company. Allow them to have some time with toys so that they can entertain themselves even in your absence.