Greater sulphur crested cockatoo

Greater Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Scientific Classification

Common Name
greater sulphur-crested cockatoo
Genus Species
Cacatua (referring to the bird's call) galerita

Fast Facts

The greater sulphur-crested cockatoo is a large white parrot with a hooked beak, a bright yellow crest, and yellow under the wings and tail.
Approximately 50 cm (20 in.)
Approximately 700 to 950 g (24.5 to 33.3 oz)
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
Tasmania through Victoria and New South Wales to the northern most tip of Queensland and though the northern part of the Northern Territory into the Kimberly area of Western Australia. Introduced populations are established near Perth, in Western Australia, and in New Zealand.
Inhabits dense forests
Not Assessed
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

The greater sulphur-crested cockatoo is the largest of the sulphur-crested group.

These birds are often regarded as pests because of their diets (sometimes feeding on crops); licensed culling is permitted in certain states.

Both parents 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.

Cockatoos live in small loose flocks.

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.

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 which includes most parrots, which are endangered or threatened.


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_galerita_galerita_-_Bloedel_Floral_Conservatory,_Queen_Elizabeth_Park_-_Vancouver,_Canada_-_DSC07540.jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Daderot. Year Created: 20 June 2015. Website:,_Queen_Elizabeth_Park_-_Vancouver,_Canada_-_DSC07540.JPG