Cockatoos are one of the most fascinating birds of the parrot family. Loud, vocal and boisterous, these birds are extremely affectionate and can demand a lot of snuggling, petting and cuddling from the owners.
Sporting a majestic crest, the colour of which varies from species to species, cockatoos are beautiful to look at and can be amazing pets. Why don’t you tell your little one about these fascinating birds more? For your help, we have made a list of 11 amazing cockatoo facts for kids.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Cockatoos for Kids
Cockatoos manage to stand out from the rest of the parrot family because of the crests on their heads. These can be in varying colours of white, pink, yellow, grey or black.
Intelligent enough to pick up basic words and affectionate enough to cuddle, cockatoos can make the best of pets. Although, they can be very loud and demanding as well.
With the short introduction done, let us take a look at some of the most amazing cockatoo facts.
1. There are at least 20 different varieties of cockatoos
Yes, you read that correctly. There are more than 20 different varieties of cockatoos. All of these birds are from the land down under; that is Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea). Some of them are also found in the Solomon Islands and Indonesia.
Obviously, you can find them elsewhere due to importing and trading, but they are native to Australia.
2. They can form extremely strong bonds with human beings
Cockatoos are known to be one of the most affectionate species of parrots and are known as ‘velcro’ birds. If they are handfed and tamed from the beginning, they form very strong and everlasting bonds with their owners.
These bonds generally last a lifetime. Isn’t that so sweet? They even crave petting from their owners. So essentially, they can give a very serious competition to man’s best friend; dogs.
3. Like scarlet macaws, cockatoos are nervous creatures as well
We have already mentioned in the previous fact that cockatoos are very affectionate and can form strong bonds with their owners. They also crave petting from them from time to time.
In fact, if they feel like they are not getting enough attention from their human companions, these birds tend to become nervous and depressed. Much like their distant cousins, the scarlet macaws, cockatoos too can demonstrate destructive behaviour like biting and plucking their feathers when nervous.
To learn more about the beautiful scarlet macaws, you can check out our article on them at-11 Amazing Scarlet Macaw Facts for Kids.
4. They have a special kind of bite called the three-way bite
Cockatoos have a distinctive feature when it comes to their beaks. If one is able to take a closer look at the lower beak of this bird, one will notice a ‘U’ shaped area missing. This particular feature works as an advantage for these birds.
It helps the cockatoo to have a very strong pecking power that they can use to eat fruits, bite branches or even human fingers. These bites are much more powerful and stronger so you might want to keep this in mind when you try to approach a cockatoo.
5. Cockatoos are extremely loud and vocal creatures
Like most parrot species, cockatoos are extremely loud and vocal creatures as well. In fact, cockatoos can even take the cake when it comes to being loud among all the other parrot species.
It is possible to hear their call from a mile away especially early in the morning and right during sunset.
6. It is very difficult to understand the gender of a cockatoo
Unlike most other animals and birds, where you can easily tell the males and females apart, it is very difficult in the case of cockatoos. This is because; these birds tend to look almost the same.
There are very subtle differences between males and females and unless you compare two cockatoos side by side, you will not know for sure. The males can be slightly bigger or their plumage may be slightly bolder.
However, there is one way you might be able to tell them apart. That is by their eyes. Females have lighter coloured irises while males have darker ones.
7. Cockatoos tend to put on weight very easily and really quickly
Well, looks like humans are not the only ones who need to watch what they are eating. Cockatoos are prone to obesity as they can put on weight really fast.
Hence, it is recommended that owners should make sure to give them the right amount of food. Instead of giving them abundant seeds, it is better to give them fresh fruits and vegetables more.
Hopefully, your little one will no longer complain about leafy greens after you tell them about these birds!
8. The crest on the cockatoos can tell you a lot about the bird
You know how people with dogs can read the wagging of the dog’s tail and interpret how it is feeling? Well, an owner of a cockatoo can do that too by taking a good look at the crest of the bird.
Although it can get a little trick you read, the more you get to know about your bird, the easier the signs will be to interpret.
For example, a raised upright crest can mean several things. It can mean that a friendly greeting or a sign of curiosity. Or it can mean that the cockatoo wants attention from a potential mate or anyone willing to pay attention. Sometimes, the raised crest can also mean a sign of aggression.
9. They can very naughty by nature
As loving and devoted cockatoos are, they can also be very naughty. They will chew and destroy a poorly constructed cage if given the chance.
Not just the cage though. These birds will chew through anything and rip them apart if they can. It is usually recommended that the owners have different toys that they keep circulating them so that the bird does not get bored.
10. Cockatoos are intelligent birds
Like the other parrot species, cockatoos are very intelligent birds too. They also learn to use certain words and basic human phrases. Although not as much as macaws can, cockatoos can keep blabbering even if they do not pick up the correct words!
These birds can associate certain words with circumstances. For example, they might not understand the meaning of ‘good morning’ but they will say it in the morning out of habit. Isn’t that just amazing!
In case you want to know more about Macaws in general, we have got you covered. Just go to our article on 11 Amazing Macaw Facts for Kids.
11. Black feathered cockatoos are extremely rare to find
While most cockatoos are white in colour, there is one that sports dark plumage. This is the black palm cockatoos and they are extremely rare to find. These birds are beautiful with dark grey plumage and pinkish-red patches on their cheeks. Needless to say, they are highly sought after as pets.
Types of Cockatoo Parrots
We already know that when it comes to any of the species in the parrot family, there will be many varieties to it. This is what makes them so fascinating to look at. Needless to say, being a part of the diverse parrot family, cockatoos, too, come in various colours and sizes. Here are the various kinds-
- Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
- Palm cockatoo
- Citron Cockatoo
- Goffins cockatoo
- Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo
- Moluccan Cockatoo
- Umbrella cockatoo
- Long-Billed Corella
- Solomons cockatoo
- Glossy Black Cockatoo
- Red-Vented Cockatoo
- Blue-Eyed Cockatoo
- Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo
- Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo
- Gang-Gang cockatoo
- Galah cockatoo
- Abbotti cockatoo
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Cockatoos are usually vegetarians and will eat a wide variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, blossoms and roots. Occasionally, they may even eat insects and larvae.
Cockatoos are usually found in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. They will nest in hollow trees in rainforests, mangroves, scrublands and open country.
Cockatoos are natives of Australia and other countries in Oceania.
On average, cockatoos are anywhere between 12-24 inches in length and can weigh anywhere between 0.66-2.65 pounds.
Other than the fact they are extremely talkative and noisy, cockatoos are known for the majestic crests on their heads which can have different colours depending on the species.
The duration of a life of a cockatoo will depend on the type of cockatoo it is. For example, cockatiels can live up to 14 years whereas the white cockatoos can live up to the age of 60 years.
Yes, cockatoos are capable of picking up human speech to a certain extent.
Though not as intelligent as the macaws, cockatoos are intelligent enough to pick up basic human phrases.
Yes, cockatoos are generally smarter than dogs.
Cockatoos are social animals and need a lot of attention. If they do not get adequate attention, they will scream and cry out of frustration or boredom.
Yes, cockatoos can laugh as a reaction to the behaviour of their companions.
Yes, cockatoos do like music. In fact, they can even dance if they like the beat.
Usually, if a cockatoo puffs up, it either means that it is cold or that it is trying to intimidate a possible threat.
The blue-eyed cockatoo is the nicest of all the cockatoos.
The Abbotti cockatoo is the rarest cockatoo in the world.
Unfortunately, most of the cockatoos are endangered or declining in population because of deforestation.
Hey there! You have reached the end of the article ’11 Amazing Cockatoo Facts for Kids.’
Hopefully, you and your little one loved reading about these beautiful, loud birds and their habits. Remember to not appear as a threat to them in case you don’t want the famous ‘three-way bite.’ Have a nice day!