Moluccan cockatoo

Moluccan Cockatoo

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Moluccan cockatoo, salmon-crested cockatoo
Genus Species
Cacatua (referring to the bird's call) moluccensis (referring to their origin)

Fast Facts

The Moluccan cockatoo is pale pink in color with a deep salmon colored crest. The bill is gray-black and the legs are gray.
Approximately 47.5 to 50 cm (19 to 20 in.)
Approximately 0.9 kg (2 lbs.)
Includes seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and some insects
Approximately 30 days
Clutch Size
2 to 6 eggs
Sexual Maturity
5 to 6 years
Life Span
65 or more years
Southern Moluccan Islands (Ceram, Sapurua, Haruku) and the Indonesian Islands
Found in dense forests
Less than 10,000
IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix I
USFWS: Vulnerable

Fun Facts

Moluccan cockatoos are considered pests in coconut plantations. They attack young coconuts, chewing through tough outer layers to get to the soft pulp and milk.

Both parents take part in incubating the eggs.

Moluccan cockatoos can mimic the sounds of other animals, including people.

Moluccan cockatoos can hold their food in one foot and break pieces off of it with the other foot.

Moluccan cockatoos live in small, loose flocks.

They are very gregarious and have one of the shrillest cries of all birds.

Ecology and Conservation

Moluccan cockatoos are a food source for many animals larger than themselves.

They aid in seed dispersal through their eating of fruit.

This species is very popular in the pet trade and is considered to be an exceptionally easy bird to tame. They are generally very affectionate toward humans and have lively personalities. This species is often used for show and appears quite comfortable in exhibition halls among hundreds of other birds and large crowds. One word of caution: since these birds live a long time, owners often have to will them to someone else in case they are unable to care for them any longer.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES as threatened or endangered (Appendix II and I) which includes most parrots.


Austin, G. Birds of the World. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.

Decoten, A.E. Handbook of Cockatoos. Neptune City, NJ. T.F.H. Pub., 1981.

Diefenbach, K. The World of Cockatoos. Neptune City. NJ. T.F.H. Publications, 1985.

Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. Neptune City, NJ. T.F.H. Publications, 1977.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Simpson, D.P. Cassell's Latin Dictionary. New York. Macmillan Publishing Company. 1959.

Photo Credit: Cacatua_moluccensis_-Kuala_Lumpur_Bird_Park-8b.jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Mahbob Yusof. Year Created: 4 October 2009. Website: License: CC by SA 2.0.