Fun Sulfur-crested Cockatoo Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Nov 22, 2022 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Sulfur-crested cockatoo facts give us a sneak peek into the avian world of the sulfur-crested cockatoo

The sulfur-crested cockatoo is the most commonly found cockatoo of the family Cacatuidae. The scientific name of this gorgeous bird is Cacatua galerita.

Commonly called 'velcro birds', they are one among 21 species of the Cacatuidae family. This cockatoo can live as long as 80 years in captivity but only 40 years in the wild.

It is a stunning white-colored parrot with a sulfur-colored crest and yellow-colored feathers inside its wings. They also have a gray-colored beak that is curved like a hook. These birds are indigenous to Indonesia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and eastern Australia.

They can be commonly found in the wild in northern Australia and east starting from Kimberely in western Australia to Tasmania. These chirpy birds can also be found in the cities of Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Northern Queensland, and Sydney.

They are charming birds who need a ton of physical exercise to stay fit. Their diet includes seeds, nuts, insects, fruits, and vegetables.

They are considered brilliant parrots that have the same learning capability as that of a two-year-old child, and they can even pick up phrases and words with time! They are incredibly loud and are remarkable mimics. Read on to learn more about them.

If you want to learn more about other birds, check out our guides to the green parakeet and the pink cockatoo.

Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sulfur-crested cockatoo?

The sulfur-crested cockatoo is a white-colored cockatoo bird. They are herbivorous birds but can be called insectivore birds as well, as their diet includes eating insects.

This species of cockatoos is one among 21 species in the family Cacatuidae.

They even have four further subspecies, namely the Triton cockatoo, Eleonora cockatoo, Mathew's cockatoo, and the greater sulfur-crested cockatoo. These subspecies of cockatoos are indigenous to Oceania and are found in Australia, Tonga, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Nauru, New Zealand, Samoa, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Micronesia, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands.

What class of animal does a sulfur-crested cockatoo belong to?

This bird belongs to the class of Aves (birds).

How many sulfur-crested cockatoos are there in the world?

Their exact population in the world is currently unknown. However, we do know that this species' population has been introduced in new parts of Australia like Perth in Western Australia.

About 500-2000 parrots of this species have also been brought into Singapore and a population of about 1000 was introduced in New Zealand and Palau. Flocks of these birds have also been introduced in Hawaii and in islands like Wallacea.

Where does a sulfur-crested cockatoo live?

The population of these large white sulfur-crested cockatoos likes to live in tropical and sub-tropical rainforests.

What is a sulfur-crested cockatoo's habitat?

The majority of the population of the sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) prefers to live in vegetated regions. They are found living in forests, in pine forest, eucalyptus forest and rain forest habitats.

These birds have even adapted their behavior for their own protection.

One bird acts as a guard sitting at the top of a tree keeping an eye out for predators while the rest of the flock is on the ground searching for food. They deploy a piercing cry to alert their flock when a predator is in the vicinity.

Who do sulfur-crested cockatoos live with?

These birds live in nests with their partners in trees and can be commonly found looking for food together in flocks. When kept as a pet, they must not be kept alone as they are incredibly social and need constant attention.

How long does a sulfur-crested cockatoo live?

In the wild, these parrots can live for up to 40 years, but when kept in captivity, their age can exceed as long as 80 years!

How do they reproduce?

The sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) bird breeds seasonally in Australia. They breed through the period of August to January and from May to September in Northern Australia.

They lay between two to three eggs in their nest and they strive to gain the best nesting site in competition with others of its flock, just like parrots of other species do.

Sulfur-crested cockatoo eggs have an incubation period of 25-27 days. The eggs are incubated and raised by both parents and their nestling period lasts for anywhere between 9 - 12 weeks.

What is their conservation status?

They aren't in any kind of danger yet. They have a stable population and are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. But they are protected species in Australia. Under the Wild Bird Conservation Act, they cannot be imported into the United States, for their conservation.

Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo Fun Facts

What do sulfur-crested cockatoos look like?

This intelligent and curious bird is medium-sized and is 17.5–21.5 in (44–55 cm) long with white plumage and a splash of yellow under its wings and tail. They have a yellow-colored crest, their limbs and beak are gray and their bill is black.

They also have a white circle around their black eyes. The male parrot of this species has black eyes usually, whereas the female can have a red or brown eye color. Their white ring differentiates them from the Triton cockatoo which has a blue ring around its eyes.

Another difference is the sulfur-crested cockatoo's ability to mimic humans. Triton cockatoos do not know how to mimic.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos have white plumage, a yellow crest, and a touch of yellow on their wings and tail.

How cute are they?

They look quite cute and have a stunning appearance. The splash of yellow on their white plumage is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and what makes them even cuter is their ability to mimic human words and phrases!

How do they communicate?

Cockatoos interact using their body posture and with raucous screeching. They can also mimic human words and phrases.

How big is a sulfur-crested cockatoo?

These are medium-sized birds that are 17.5–21.5 in (44–55 cm) long. They are smaller than the great sulfur-crested cockatoo.

How fast can a sulfur-crested cockatoo fly?

They can fly as fast as 43.5 mph (70 kph). Their wide wings enable this swift flight.

How much does a sulfur-crested cockatoo weigh?

These birds can weigh anywhere between 0.7-2.1 lb (300-950 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females.

What would you call a baby sulfur-crested cockatoo?

A baby sulfur-crested cockatoo can be called a chick, hatchling, nestling, or fledgling.

What do they eat?

Their diet consists of seeds, nuts, grains, pellets, fruits, and vegetables (occasionally feeding on crops). They fly to the feeding ground at dawn and fly back to the roosting area at dusk and they fly back and forth from the feeding ground to the roosting ground at a notably high height.

Their strong tongue helps them when feeding but they may be attacked by predators as they are vulnerable on land. Their main predators are owls, butcher birds, ravens, pied currawongs and goannas.

Are they dangerous?

No, they aren't dangerous animals but they are known to make belligerent and unexpected actions that can scare people.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, this bird would make a great pet as it can be pretty amusing and entertaining. They demand plenty of attention and can keep owners very busy. One downside is that they have a loud, shrieky voice. If not given enough devotion and love, they can become quite destructive.

Did you know...

A sulfur-crested cockatoo named Fred lived for 100 years!

These birds eat clay for the detoxification of their skin.

These birds like to suspend themselves upside down with the support of a branch.

Spotted only on the island of Sumba, Indonesia, citron-crested cockatoos are one of the rarest species of cockatoos!

Do sulfur-crested cockatoos talk?

Sulfur-crested cockatoos are experts in mimicking the phrases and words of humans. What's even more surprising is that they can even mimic certain animals!

Having your own sulfur-crested cockatoo

These creatures are incredibly affectionate and can be a much-loved pet. They require lots of attention as well as spacious cages which are at least 5 ft (1.5 m) tall.

Although they are lovable, they can become quite noisy and if not given enough attention, they might throw objects and gnaw at furniture. The best way to make friends with a sulfur-crested cockatoo is to give them all the attention they require.

These attention-seeking birds can be bought from a reputable breeder at a cost range of between $2000 to $4000. Their price depends upon the seller, the bird's age, and its tameness.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the belted kingfisher, or the blue jay.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our parrot mask coloring pages.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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