Sulphur-crested cockatoo


Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Sulphur-crested cockatoo: The Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is a species of bird in the family Cacatuidae. It is one of the largest and most widespread Australian cockatoos.

It is frequently sought after as a pet in and out of Australia. But, in freedom, it is often slaughtered and poisoned because considered harmful.

Indeed, in bands or solitary, it can attack cereal and fruit crops, as well as the wood of trees, garden sheds, or houses. However, to destroy them, authorization from the Australian government because they are protected animals.

It is an animal measuring 45 to 50 cm in length and weighing 800 to 900 g. Its plumage is white, with a large erect hoop facing rear at rest, of a strong yellow. The underside of the wings and tail are light yellow. It has a very dark gray, almost black bill.

The two sexes are similar although the female is smaller and the eyes are not quite the same color: brown to red in the female, black in the male. It is a noisy animal both in flight, in the morning, and in the evening when it is going to feed, and at rest.

Yellow-crested Cockatoo

It is an animal that is found mainly in Australia: on the North and East part of the continent and in Tasmania as well as in New Guinea and in the Aru Islands.
Pets, a number of them escaped and created accidental colonies around Perth, Western Australia, New Zealand1 and Indonesia.

They are sedentary birds living in large flocks outside the breeding period in all wooded areas and especially in the wild

Yellow-crested Cockatoos, a ‘Critically Endangered’ species. Paradise Park Cornwall


The crested cockatoo lives in different types of habitats such as savannah, tropical forest humid, mangrove, agricultural land, and even urban areas.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo diet

It feeds mainly on berries, seeds, nuts, and roots. His diet is omnivorous. An animal perched on top of a tree is responsible for ensuring the safety of the group while they feed.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in the wild

Cockatoo reproduction

The breeding takes place from August to January in the South and from May to September in the North. The female lays one to three eggs in a nest made by both parents in a tree cavity.

The eggs are hatched for 30 days in turn and the young remain in the nest 60 to 70 days before being able to fly. They will stay with their parents during their first year of existence.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo Cacatua Galerita

Order: Psittaciformes

Famille: Psittacidae

 CITES Appendix II, free quota holding

Sex: No sexual dimorphism


  • White massive parrot with a yellow erectile crest. The sub-wing and sub-caudal feathers are more or less yellow
  • Iris color determines sex: black in male, brown to red in female

Character: Loud and unpleasant voice but birds sometimes very affectionate and very intelligent can talk. Attention, these are stubborn birds that can become violent at the slightest annoyance

The hoopoe is an indicator of the emotional state of the bird: erect when excited and at rest if not

Weight: 800 – 950g

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Sulphur-crested cockatoo


The couples are faithful, but the male can be very aggressive towards the female. The female lays between 1 and 3 eggs in a cavity of a tree and the incubation lasts about 30 days.

Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo Thai


Class: Birds
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Weight: about 800g
Wingspan: about 60 cm

Sulphur-crested cockatoo lifespan

The Sulphur-crested cockatoo Parrot can live Up to 70 years in captivity.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo as pets

The crested cockatoo Sulphur-crested cockatoo, like most Psittacidae, is a noisy bird and easily observable in freedom. He lives as a couple during the breeding season and in large groups that can have several hundred individuals the rest of the year.
Some birds stand aside from the group and act as sentries. He lifts his hoopoe, as a sign of intimidation, if he feels threatened or if he is excited.

Yellow-crested cockatoo

Cacatua galerita

Psittaciformes Order – Cacatuidae Family

L: 45 to 50 cm
Weight: 815 to 975 g

LONGEVITY: Up to 80 years old

Yellow-crested cockatoo facts

The crested cockatoo is one of the largest parrots in Australia.
The adult male is a large white parrot. It has a pale yellow hue under the wings and the tail which is relatively short.
On the white head, we can see a long yellow crest.

This crest is usually smoothed backward, and the bird erects it when alert or excited. It has a very light pale yellow spot on the sides of the head below the eyes.

The eyes are dark brown, surrounded by a white, fleshy eye ring. The hooked bill is gray-black. Legs and feet are dark gray. The female is similar, with reddish-brown eyes.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Cockatoo behaviors

The crested cockatoo Sulphur-crested cockatoo is common in most of its habitat. Outside the breeding season, these noisy birds congregate in large groups to feed on meadows, bushes, and trees.

They feed on seeds, fruits, hearts of palm trees, and insects. They can hold their food with the fingers of one leg, while with the other they break or tear off pieces.

They are sometimes seen as pests for crops, and farmers kill or poison them. While the group feeds on the ground, several birds remain perched in the neighboring trees and watch the surroundings to alert the group in case of danger. If a predator or an intruder approaches, they give their raucous and loud cries.

They sleep in a common dormitory where you can find several hundred birds. They return there every evening at dusk. During the breeding season, the crested cockatoo is often seen in pairs or small family groups.

At midday, they shelter in the shade in the nearby trees with which they damage the leaves and bark, enough for the loss of foliage to destroy the tree.

Southern birds tend to feed on the ground, while northern birds are more arboreal. They become common around human habitations where they are parasites that use their powerful beak to destroy panels or other parts of houses.

The courtship display is simple. The male struts along a branch of a tree towards the female. He erects his crest, swings his head up and down and from side to side, forming an “8”.

At this time, it emits a soft chatter and the two partners practice the mutual smoothing of the feathers and the “beak to beak”.

Cockatoo flight

The crested cockatoo flies with rapid, shallow beats interspersed with glides. It can fly very high, descending by sliding in large swirling circles to land.

Cockatoo breeding

The breeding season takes place from August to January in the south, and from May to September in the north.
The Crested Cockatoo Sulphur-crested cockatoo nests in tree holes, especially in large Eucalyptus trees, and usually near water. Both sexes prepare the nest. They are monogamous.

The female lays 1 to 3 white eggs. The incubation lasts about 30 days, shared by the two adults. The chicks are nestlings and are fed by their parents.

They abandon the nest after 60 to 70 days. They stay with their parents all year round. Family groups can stay united for a long time.

Cockatoo food

The crested cockatoo feeds on berries, seeds, hazelnuts and nuts, and roots. When it is not feeding, it nibbles on small branches and the leaves of trees. He does not eat them but this activity keeps the beak in good condition and prevents it from increasing too much in volume.

Are Sulphur-crested cockatoo endangered?

The crested cockatoo is a very popular cage bird, but many birds escape and become parasites in urban areas.
Like many other parrots, the crested cockatoo is vulnerable to a widespread virus that causes feather loss and grotesquely enlarges the beak.
The crested cockatoo is considered a pest by farmers who kill and poison it. However, these birds are generally common in their habitat.


Ang: Sulphur-crested cockatoo
All: Gelbhaubenkakadu
Esp: Cacatúa Galerita
Ital: Grande Cacatua ciuffogiallo
Nd: Grote Geelkuifkaketoe
Russian: Желтохвостый Какаду


Summary sheets

There are five subspecies:
G.C. galerita, with pale yellow on the ear covers and at the base of the cheek and throat feathers. He lives in eastern and southeastern Australia. It has been introduced to southwest Australia and New Zealand.

G.C. queenslandica, is smaller, with a wider, very striated bill. He lives on the Cape York Peninsula and in the southern Torres Strait Islands, north of Queensland.

G.C. Fitzroy, has a wider, very striated beak, and a pale blue eye-ring. He lives in the north of Australia.
G.C. newt has wider crest feathers and blue eye circles. He lives in the west of the Papua Islands, Indonesia, and New Guinea.
G.C. Eleonora has a smaller bill and is similar to C.g. triton. He lives in the Arou Islands and in Indonesia.

Newt cockatoo

The crested cockatoo launches a hoarse “raa-aach” in flight or when it is placed on an open branch. This cry can be very loud.

The alarm call is a series of sharp, abrupt, and guttural cries. It also utters high, hoarse, or piercing cries, as well as a dissyllabic hiss when it eats or smoothes its feathers. It can also imitate sounds from other animals, including humans.

The crested cockatoo Sulphur-crested cockatoo lives in trees along streams, mainly in the driest areas. It is found in a wide variety of forests and woodlands, in crops and plantations.

It prefers forest edges or clearings, and their number is growing in urban areas. In New Guinea, it frequents forests, wooded savannas, and coastal mangroves. It is a resident in its habitat.


The Crested Cockatoo lives in Australia from northern Queensland to Adelaide and southern Australia. There is a local population north of Perth in southwest Australia and another in Hong Kong.

Talking to a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

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