Species Profile - Lesser Sulfur Crested Cockatoo

Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Cacatua

The lesser sulfur crested cockatoo is generally white in color with, as the name suggests, a crest of yellow feathers on the head that curves forwards. The undersides of the wings and tail are also yellow, the bill is black, and the feet are grey. The sexes differ in eye color; in females they are reddish-brown but males have black eyes. In both sexes the skin around the eye is bluish. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but have a grey iris, and chicks have patchy yellow down.

Weight: 350 grams
Length: 12" - 13"

Est. Lifespan: 30 - 60 years

The yellow-crested cockatoo is found in the central archipelagos of Indonesia and on East Timor. This species was widespread and common in the 19th Century but by the 1980s had undergone a rapid decline and was vanishing from most areas of its former range.

Inhabits woodland and cultivated areas.

Diet in the wild:
This species has a broad diet including seeds, berries, fruit, nuts and flowers.

Hand-raised cockatoos make exceptionally loving pets. They are both friendly and intelligent, and are very social, affectionate creatures. Natural chewers, cockatoos must be provided with branches or strips of wood. Some birds can be quite noisy, especially during the early morning and evening hours. Sulphur Crested cockatoos may be less prone to developing behavior such as feather plucking and screaming than other popular cockatoo species. However, these birds have a lot more energy than species such as the Umbrella Cockatoos.

Talking Ability: Poor to Moderate

Noise Level: High

Cage Requirements: 24" x 36"

Breeding of the Lesser Sulfur Cockatoo is achieved quite often. The female will lay two to three eggs and they will incubate for approximately 24 days. The hatchlings will fledge in eight to ten weeks. It needs to be noted that males can be very aggressive during breeding. Babies should be removed at the proper time as the males may attack them. Males have often been known to kill females if they are kept in a smaller aviary. To prevent this problem you must use a very large aviary. Up to two clutches a year are possible.

Interesting Facts:
There are five major types of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo: The Lesser, Citron Crested, Eleonora (or Medium Sulphur Crested,) Greater Sulphur Crested, and Triton Cockatoos. They all have very similar personalities, though the smaller 3 are known for being a bit more high-strung. What separates them from the other cockatoo species are their tall, narrow crests which are yellow in all but the Citron Crested, which is orange.

This information is provided by the “News from the Nest” newsletter.