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Goffin's Cockatoo

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Goffin's cockatoo
Genus Species
Cacatua (referring to the bird's call) goffini

Fast Facts

The Goffin's cockatoo is a large white parrot with white skin around eye and a grayish-white beak. The lores and base of the head feathers are salmon pink.
The iris of the male's eye is black.
The iris of the female's eye is brown.
Approximately 39 cm (12.5 in.)
Approximately 0.45 kg (1 lbs.)
Feeds on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and some insects
Approximately 30 days
Clutch Size
2–6 eggs
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 2–3 years
Life Span
65 or more years
Tenimber Islands of Indonesia
Inhabits forests
Global: 300,000–400,000
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Appendix I
USFWS: Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Fun Facts

  1. These birds are often regarded as pests because of their diets (sometimes feeding on crops); licensed culling is permitted in certain states.
  2. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs.
  3. Cockatoos can mimic the sounds of other animals, including people!
  4. Cockatoos can hold their food in one foot and break pieces off of it with the other foot.
  5. Cockatoos live in small loose flocks.
  6. They are very gregarious and quickly learn to mimic. These birds also have a very shrill cry.

Ecology and Conservation

Cockatoos are a food source for many animals larger than themselves.

Their feeding habits are very destructive, which annoys most gardeners.

Cockatoos aid in seed dispersal through their eating of fruit.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots - endangered or threatened.

Deforestation and the pet trade are the major threats behind this species' endangered status. The Goffin's cockatoo 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.


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.