Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Cacatua sulphurea (Gmelin)
Description: Plumage mainly white; ear-coverts and crest feathers bright yellow; under tail and wing coverts yellow washed; white around eyes; iris dark brown; grey feet; bill black.
In the female the iris is red, and the bill often smaller.
Immatures have lighter feet both sexes have dark irises, not changing to adult colours until at least 12 months.
Length: 13 inches (33cm).
Wing Length: 8-9.5 inches (210-245 cm).
Distribution: Buton, Sulawesi, Muna, Tukangbesi, Djampea, Kajuadi, Madu and Kalaotura. Possible also in Singapore.
Habitat: Prefers open woodland, forest edges and semiarid areas. Likes tree cover and often forages where humans live.
Wild Status: These cockatoos are becoming more rare in the wild due to trade. They prefer to be in small groups or pairs. They are difficult to see in the wild except when in flight.
Natural diet: Seeds, fruits, berries, nuts and flowers. They also raid cultivated areas for easy pickings.
Aviculture: These parrots are noisy, with a harsh call and repeated screech. Extremely hard chewers, provide plenty of wood for chewing as often they will chew the wire meshing. They are also prone to feather plucking if bored.
Outside flight: 15 x 6 x 6 ft (5 x 2x 2 m) provide a shelter. Protect from frost and provide thick walled roosting boxes of hardwood 12 x 12 x 40 inches (30 x 30 x100cm). Only use heavy gauge wire mesh as these cockatoos are very destructive.
Diet: Good parrot mix including: sunflower, pumpkin seeds, small seed mix (safflower, millet, hemp, oats, wheat), pine and other nuts plenty of fruit and vegetables including apples, peas, greenfood; and vitamin and mineral supplements.
Breeding in Aviculture: They need to be kept in pairs in a large aviary. When males are in breeding condition they may become very aggressive to their females. If they are kept in too small an aviary the male may even kill the female. Pairs don't breed before they reach their fourth year. Clutches usually 2-3 eggs maximum 5; incubation around 24 days and fledging takes 8-10 weeks. Remember to remove their young at the right time as the male can attack the young. It is possible to achieve two breedings in one year.
As a Pet:
Cockatoos need lots of attention and make the best pets if they have been hand-reared. One thing that should always be remembered with these parrots is that they can be extremely noisy. They are not noted for their talking abilities but may manage a few phrases. Generally they need a lot of time with their owner. If you work, they will not be a suitable pet as they require a lot of fuss and attention. They can become very noisy if they don't get their own way.

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