Citron Crested Cockatoo

Citron-Crested Cockatoo

Scientific Classification

Common Name
citron-crested cockatoo
Genus Species
Cacatua (referring to the bird's call) sulphurea (yellow) citronocristata (orange)

Fast Facts

These medium-sized white parrots have an orange crest and light orange ear spots. The feathers under the wing and tail are yellow, and they have a dark grey beak. Both sexes are similar in appearance. Females have copper colored eyes and the males have black eyes.
Adults can reach a length of 30 to 32.5 cm (12 to 13 in.).
360 to 425 g (12.6 to 14.9 oz.)
They feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and insects.
30 days
Clutch Size
2 to 6 eggs
Sexual Maturity
2 to 3 years
Life Span
65 or more years
These birds are found on Sumba in the Lesser Sumba Islands of Indonesia.
This bird inhabits forest (including evergreen, moist deciduous, monsoon, and semi-evergreen), forest edge, and scrub.
Their population is severely fragmented and appears to be decreasing. A 1993 survey on Sumba estimated their numbers at less than 2,000 individuals. As of 2012, scientists have estimated a current population of 500 to 600 individuals.
IUCN: Critically Endangered
CITES: Appendix I
USFWS:  Appendix II

Fun Facts

The males and females both take part in incubating the eggs.

Cockatoos can mimic the sounds of other animals, including people.

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

These birds are thought to be one of the rarest parrots on Sumba Island.

Ecology and Conservation

Cockatoos are a food source for many predators.

These birds play an important role in seed dispersal and help to regenerate the forest.

These birds are often regarded as pests because their feeding habits are destructive to crops.

Citron-Crested Cockatoos are not as widely sought in the pet trade as other species because they are difficult to breed.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots. International trade in wild caught Citron-Crested Cockatoos is illegal.


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.

Tom Orrell (custodian), Dave Nicolson (ed). (2019). ITIS Global: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (version Jun 2017). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2019 Annual Checklist (Roskov Y., Ower G., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds.). Digital resource at Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.