Although cockatoos can vary a great deal in size depending on their species, most are generally similar in appearance. Nearly all the cockatoo species are mostly white or black in color (a small number of species have gray or pink as their base color), with patches of other colors along the body.
Cockatoos also have crests of feathers on their heads, which vary widely in size and color according to species. They use these crests to indicate feelings such as fear, excitement, or anger.
All white cockatoos belong to the genus Cacatua and are found throughout Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands, Indonesia, and part of the Philippines. Black cockatoos, who belong to the Calyptorhynchus and Prosciger genera, can be found in Australia and New Guinea and the surrounding islands, respectively, but these are extremely rare and almost never seen as pets
Cockatoos in the wild are very social animals who bond closely with their mates and the other members of their flock. (This is why it’s so important to spend as much time with your cockatoo as you can—you’re taking the place of these other birds for him!)
A cockatoo does best with a varied diet that combines pelleted food with fresh fruits and vegetables, a small amount of seed. His diet should also be particularly rich in calcium—a cockatoo requires more calcium than most other birds.
Because of the large size difference among different cockatoo species, there is no single cage size that’s ideal for this type of bird. In general, the larger the cage, the better. Width is best over height.
The most important thing to remember when keeping a cockatoo is to spend time with him regularly. Not only will doing so be fun for both of you, but an ignored or neglected cockatoo can quickly develop problem behaviors such as screaming or self-mutilation. Show your cockatoo love and attention and he will happily do the same for you for many years to come!
Other cockatoo species