Fun Salmon-crested Cockatoo Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 18, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Interesting salmon crested cockatoo facts that will make your day.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.6 Min

About the same size as the Bristlehead parrots, these beautiful birds are one of the largest and rarest members of the cockatoo family. The largest species being the Palm cockatoos and the rarest are the Citron-crested cockatoos. Unfortunately, these beautiful birds have become endangered in their own home range due to habitat loss for making farmlands and the illegal pet traffic. So the only option for pet owners to keep them is to adopt or buy a captive bred specimen. It costs about $1000-$2000 USD for a bird as they are one of the cheapest species of cockatoos out there. They are not really suitable for apartment living, though, as they can be quite noisy. Caution must be followed if you are thinking about getting one of them for your children, as the male birds tend to get a little aggressive as they age. Other than that, they make amazing pets and are pretty fun to be around. Following their diet is also very easy. Please read on to learn more interesting facts about these beautiful birds.

If you like reading fun animal articles, please check out our red-tailed black cockatoo and umbrella cockatoo facts.

Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a salmon-crested cockatoo?

Found around the Serum archipelago in the eastern part of Indonesia, the salmon-crested cockatoos are one of the biggest species of white cockatoos found in the world. They have a retractable crest on their head, that they raise when they feel threatened, revealing bright orangish-red plume of feathers, which earned them their names.

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

Like all birds, the salmon-crested cockatoo, Cacatua moluccensis, is known to belong to the class of Aves, and like all birds, they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. They are one of the largest species of cockatoo, and females are generally larger than males. It inhabits lowland forests with dense vegetation in the islands of Indonesia. Their main diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits as well as insects on occasion.

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

It is hard to say just how many of these birds are there in the wild, however, their numbers have been constantly decreasing over the years due to illegal pet traffic and habitat loss. These birds are endangered and are listed as Vulnerable species in the IUCN red list of threatened species.

Where does a salmon-crested cockatoo live?

The Moluccan cockatoo is endemic to the islands of the Serum archipelago in the eastern part of Indonesia. A few individuals have also been introduced to Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands and they seem to be doing pretty well. Other than that, there have been reports of some wild birds found in the forests of Puerto Rico, although, they are thought to be escaped pets.

What is a salmon-crested cockatoo's habitat?

The Moluccan cockatoo, Cacatua moluccensis, prefers lowland forests or woodlands with dense vegetation as its habitat, and their main diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits as well as the occasional insects off the forest floor.

Who do salmon-crested cockatoos live with?

During the breeding season, they are mostly found in pairs, but, during other times they have been noticed to roost together in flocks consisting of up to 14-16 individuals. The salmon-crested cockatoo, therefore, like the palm cockatoo prefers to live in groups.

How long does a salmon-crested cockatoo live?

These beautiful cockatoos have a long lifespan. On average they live up to 65 years or more, however, the oldest recorded salmon-crested or pink-crested cockatoo was about 125 years old. Interesting, huh!

How do they reproduce?

These cockatoos breed annually, usually during December-March when their food sources are readily available. Courtship rituals start with the males ruffling their feathers and hopping about to get the female bird's attention. Once they gain that attention, the pairs start in a ritual of scratching and preening each other as a show of being affectionate with each other. This affectionate behavior often strengthens the bond between the Moluccas birds. They lay about two to six eggs on average, and they hatch after an incubation period of about 30 days. Both parents take care of the young birds. These cockatoo chicks live with their family until they are completely self-sufficient.

What is their conservation status?

The Moluccas are listed as a Vulnerable species in the IUCN red list of threatened species. The main reasons for that could be attributed to habitat loss as well as illegal pet traffic. They have been declared a protected species of birds a long time ago, however, the pet trafficking of this bird is still ongoing in some places. Thankfully, due to their vulnerable status, a lot of conservation groups have been working very hard to protect this bird species and prevent them from going extinct.

Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Fun Facts

What do salmon-crested cockatoos look like?

These Moluccan cockatoos are one of the largest species of cockatoos found around their habitat range. Their feathers are white and salmon pink, and these pink feathers have a distinctive peach-colored glow, with a yellow undertone on the underside of the wings. Their pink wings are long with an almost finger-like structure. These cockatoos have a small, curved beak that is black in color and a long tail. They have a distinctive reddish-orange crest on their head with salmon-pink feathers peppered through them. However, this crest is retractable and they keep it hidden unless they feel threatened. When kept hidden it is almost completely invisible. Their talons are curved and black in color.

Salmon-Crested Cockatoo perched on a branch

How cute are they?

The salmon-crested cockatoo is one of the most beautiful-looking white cockatoos out there. With their white and salmon pinkish feathers with yellow undertones on their wings, they look very attractive. They have a reddish-orange crest on their head that they keep hidden which makes them extremely appealing to pet owners.

How do they communicate?

Like all bird species in existence, they communicate through their unique call body language. They have a retractable crest on their head that stays almost invisible unless they feel extremely threatened. We can see the beautiful reddish-orange and salmon-pink plumage there when it comes out. Strangely, what makes this bird species so appealing to pet owners is the very thing that is supposed to repel threats. Other than that, they have one of the shrillest sounds of any bird ever which they use to alarm members of their flock if a threat is perceived.

How big is a salmon-crested cockatoo?

The salmon-crested cockatoo, Cacatua moluccensis, is one of the largest among all cockatoo bird species around their habitat in Indonesia. On average, they grow up to as long as 19-20 in (47.5-50 cm). It is about the same length as Bristlehead or Vulturine parrots at about 19-20 in (47.5-50 cm) of length. They even share some of their diets like nuts, seeds, and fruits.

How fast can a salmon-crested cockatoo fly?

It a hard to say just how fast this cockatoo bird can fly, but as it has long, fingered wings like all cockatoo bird species with yellow and pink feathers, it can be assumed that it can also fly as fast as 43 mph (70 kph).

How much does a salmon-crested cockatoo weigh?

The Moluccan cockatoo bird is one of the largest of all cockatoos and its weight compliments its size. Their average weight is about 1.4-2.2 lb (640-1025 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The Moluccan cockatoos do not have sex-specific terms for their male and female counterparts. They are just known as male Moluccan cockatoo and female Moluccan cockatoo or salmon-crested cockatoo. Cacatua moluccensis is their common scientific name. The female Moluccan cockatoo bird is usually larger than the male Moluccan cockatoo bird, and their weight is heavier as well.

What would you call a baby salmon-crested cockatoo?

Like all birds, the babies of the Moluccan cockatoos are called young birds or chicks. They lay about two to six eggs per pregnancy and they are hatched after an incubation period of about 30 days. The baby birds are born vulnerable and are taken care of by the adults until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

What do they eat?

The Moluccan cockatoos are omnivorous in their diet and they eat a variety of fruits and insects as their main food source. Other than that, these wild birds feed on seeds, nuts as well as a lot of vegetables from farmlands. This is why they are considered to be pests by a lot of farmers. They are known to hold their food on one talon and eat it by breaking it into small pieces with the help of their curved beak, much like parrots. Unfortunately, the beautiful Moluccan cockatoos are endangered in their natural habitat due to habitat loss and illegal pet traffic. Although they are endangered, some of them are still hunted by pet traders because of their beautiful crest.

Are they dangerous?

Mostly easygoing, these cockatoos are not very hard to deal with. However, there have been instances of this bird getting aggressive during breeding season or during feeding them or if they feel threatened somehow. They tend to lunge and bite you if they are not completely comfortable with their surroundings or your behavior. This aggression sometimes extends to their mates as well.

Would they make a good pet?

As pets, these birds tend to form bonds with a single person in the family more than others. They need a lot of attention and handling from their owners. They tend to get a little clingy on occasion as well. They are noisy birds and they scream for attention if they are away from their human for too long, so not a good choice for apartment living. Male birds can get a little aggressive with age so caution must be taken if you have a family with small children. Other than that, they are very easygoing and fun to be around. They can even learn a few tricks and words which makes them even more entertaining.

Did you know...

They can hold their food in one leg while breaking it into smaller pieces with the other one.

They sometimes hang upside down in their cage for fun.

Is the salmon-crested cockatoo endemic?

The salmon-crested cockatoo is endemic to the Serum archipelago in the eastern part of Indonesia. However, their population is constantly decreasing due to habitat loss and illegal pet traffic.

Do salmon-crested cockatoos migrate?

Like the sulfur-crested cockatoo, the salmon-crested cockatoo is also not a migratory bird. They have adapted well to their surroundings in lowland forests to have to move from season to season.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these flame robin facts and amazon kingfisher facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable salmon crested cockatoo coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction