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Sulphur- crested Cockatoo

Updated on September 9, 2013
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Sulphur- crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is one of the best known parrots, it is a large parrot, measuring about 45cm (18 inches). It has a dark grey-black bill

Cockatoos have white feathered body and an impressive yellow crest. I would say that the most striking feature of this magnificent bird is its scratchy, squawky call. Its ear-piercing screech, often heard at sunrise or in the early evening announces the cockatoo's arrival or departure from its roosting tree.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are common and familiar in Australia, you will find Sulphur-crested cockatoos in the timbered forests of northern and eastern Australia and into Tasmania as well as around Perth. They can be found in a variety of timbered environments building nests in tree hollows.

They are also common around in human settlements and they are also popular pets although it is sad that they are kept in cages. They can live for more than 65 years, so if you have a cockatoo you have a life-long pet. They are known to have mimicry abilities and can learn to speak.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos's diet consist of berries, seeds, nuts and roots. Sad to say that some people considered the cockatoos pest in some areas because it uses its powerful bill to destroy timber decking and panelling on houses.

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I took the photos of the cockatoos in my backyard, they like to eat the pine cones, I don't really know if they are really eating the seeds but I know they are biting off the small branches and leaves probably to keep their beaks in good shapes and help the trees flourish.

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Did you know?

  • Cockatoos have zygodactyl feet - two toes forward and two toes pointing backward . These feet are perfectly adapted for climbing and holding and for gripping branches to eat seeds while hanging upside down in trees. Sometimes you will see cockatoos spinning around on branches simply to have fun, they are nature's acrobats.


  • When a flock of cockatoos are feeding on the ground, often they have one or two others on lookout in a tree surveying the area. This is a great warning system - the cockatoos screech loudly if there is an intruder and everyone disappeared.


Amazing Cockatoo Facts

  • The oldest authenticated Sulphur-crested Cockatoo died in London Zoo in 1982. It was over 80 years old.
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoos originally congregated west of the Great Dividing Range but have now moved eastwards where there is more water. And pet cockatoos that have been released or escaped are now resident in the cities.
  • Large old trees with hollowed trunks make perfect nests for some cockatoos. If those trees are removed, the birds are likely to disappear.
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoos lay up to three eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 30 days before hatching.
  • Cockatoos are large parrots with crests. All species are found only in Australasia.
  • Each flock of cockatoos has its own roosting site. They fly long distances in search of food.


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    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Great photos. Linking this hub to one of mine. :)

      Voted up.

    • profile image

      shonte mills 5 years ago

      cookatoos are so cute !!! thank you ;0

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      just last year 6 years ago

      just larst year I got one I love him so much he lives inside with me he likes to chase cats and have a go at the dogs.

      He likes to have a go at anything that I have on my plate at diner time.

    • Chapter profile image

      Chapter 7 years ago from Indonesia

      You should know that sulphur cockatoo are found in Indonesia too.

    • corisong1 profile image

      corisong1 7 years ago

      I am in the UK, and I own a Lesser Sulphur and his name is Charlie Too. I have many friends in Australia who tell me all about the wonderful birds that come into their backyards. Maybe I will get to see them some day. I thought your article on the wild ones was smashing and I hope you have a lovely day. Love Corisong1 @ hubpages xxxx ps: check out my hub Meet My Family which tells all about my collection! xxxx

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      Jo. 7 years ago

      come to Kilmore east in Victoria and discover why these birds are considered a pest!!! they destroy crops and squark constantly.

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      Frannie 7 years ago

      This is so interesting! Helped me w/ my social studies project on Australian animals. I like how they have zygodical feet.

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      cass 8 years ago

      this helped me alot and im doing a science project on them soo this helped!!!!!!! thanks

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      sarah niedbala 8 years ago

      How do you known if a sulphur crested cockatoo is something years old?

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      dafla 9 years ago

      I would be in heaven if I had birds like that flying around my house all the time! Do you ever see any cockatiels? I have three 'tiels, and have built them an aviary on the back porch. Over the years, I've lost many 'tiels to this or that, and am debating as to whether to let my current pair breed.

      I have one "wild girl", who refuses to be hand tamed, but once when kids opened the door to the aviary, and my two boys flew out (one came back, but the other didn't), she didn't budge, even to follow her mate. I discovered them missing because she was screeching so loudly, but she was still there.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      They are so beautiful aren't they..So if is a pet you better be young when you get one?

      LOL..Thank you for such a nice hub...loved it....G-Ma:o) hugs