Animal-World > Birds > Cockatoos > Citron-crested Cockatoo

Citron-crested Cockatoo

Family: Cacatuidae Citron Crested Cockatoo, Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristataCacatua sulphurea citrinocristataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I rescued a sulfur crest and a citron a few months ago. Their momma took her life and the 2 have been together for a while. They are around 10 years old from what I... (more)  Valerie Ann Wallingsford

   The Citron-crested Cockatoo really stands out with the orange feathering in its crest and cheeks! It is the most striking of the six subspecies of the Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoos!

   Sometimes referred to as the "apartment-sized cockatoo", the Citron-crested Cockatoo is a smaller cockatoo (though it is a bit larger than other Lesser Sulpher-crested Cockatoos). It is a pretty bird with graceful movements and a delicate appearance.

   This is Initially a rather shy bird, but once it is used to being around people the Citron-crested Cockatoo will love attention and can be very affectionate. It can also be a very playful comedian! When it gets excited it will lift up its crest like an Indian headdress, bob up and down, and even dance.

   Though they are generally very docile, they can be a bit more animated than the other Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. They can learn to speak and are easy to teach all kinds of tricks. They are also one of the easiest cockatoos to breed.

   Like cockatoos in general, they are a very loving type of bird. Affection is readily accepted and returned in kind. They are a pet that not only appreciates interaction but requires it and needs a lot of attention from their owners. Buy a cockatoo only if you can spend a lot of time with it.

   To learn more about Cockatoos and their needs visit:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Cockatoo


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Cacatuidae
  • Genus: Cacatua
  • Species: sulphurea citrinocristata

Scientific Name:Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata

Distribution:    This bird is native to Sumba, and Indonesian island. They inhabit open woodlands, the edges of forests, and cultivated wheat fields.

Description:    The Citron-crested Cockatoo has white plummage with an orange crest on the top of the head and on the cheeks, rather than yellow like the other Lesser Sulpher-crested Cockatoos. The rest of their coloring is the same as the others with yellows on the undersides of their wings and tail, but they are a bit larger. They can learn to talk, as can most cockatoos and are easy to teach all kinds of tricks. Mature birds are about 35 cm (14 inches) in length.
  A younger bird will be similar to the adults but have pale gray eyes. The beak will also be lighter for a short period of time, until about 7 months.

Care and feeding:    A roomy cage is required unless the bird is to be let out for extended periods. Many birds can spend most of their time on a play pen or parrot perch. These birds are good fliers and avid chewers. It is good to provide them with lots of natural branches, chunks of untreated wood, or even whole coconuts to keep them busy and content.
   In the wild they eat seeds, berries, nuts, fruits and probably vegetable matter. They eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and commercial pellets, as well as the same nutritional foods humans eat.
   See About Cockatoos: Housing and About Cockatoos: Care and Feeding for more information.

"Precious" a very friendly Citron Crested Cockatoo!"Precious" Citron-crested Cockatoo Photo Courtesy: Bruce "The Bird Guy" McGonigal

"Precious is very gentle, but likes to pull hairs out
of your head while taking a photo. She loves to be
around kids. She knows how to give shaka with her
claw and says "Hi". Shaka,- pronounced "shah-kahh",
means excellent or great in Hawaiian. Frequently it is
used as a handsignal throughout the islands. It can also
mean awesome, hang-loose or Aloha.
Precious was born in 2002"... Bruce McGonigal

Social Behaviors:    In the wild Cockatoos are friendly and peaceful. They live in pairs or small flocks though sometimes they will gather in very large flocks to feed.
   They enjoy and require a lot of affection and attention. It is often recommended that they be kept in pairs so they will keep each other company. This can help to reduce the amount of time you will have to devote to an individual bird.

Breeding/Reproduction:    See About Cockatoos: Breeding for Cockatoo breeding information.

Sexual differences:    Hard to tell the sex of young birds. As they get older the iris of the females' eyes will develop a reddish color, the males' eyes will be dark brown to black.

Potential Problems:    Cockatoos can be quite loud screechers. This behavior can be reduced by giving attention and proper surroundings. Also, since they are prone to chewing, if they are not given enough attention they will chew their own feathers.
   See About Cockatoos: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

Availability: These birds, though not as common as the Lesser Sulpher-crested Cockatoo, are occasionally available.

Activities: Loves to climb and play and chew. Provide lots of toys.

Lastest Animal Stories on Citron-crested Cockatoo


Valerie Ann Wallingsford - 2014-06-16
I rescued a sulfur crest and a citron a few months ago. Their momma took her life and the 2 have been together for a while. They are around 10 years old from what I was told. I have 5 other birds from a blue and gold to a monk but this one poor citron is vicious. I have had biters and trained them out of it but Baby is a rough one. He has tore my arm up even when he bites he hangs on. I show him no emotion but he is relentless. He is the sweetest thing in his cage but when we let out with Coocoo he follows him around and you cannot get next to Coocoo. He will even fly at you to attack you. I am at my wits end. My heart breaks for him. He wants the attention but seems mad at the world. He is also missing a toe and plucks or was pulling his chest feathers but it does look like they are coming back since I have had him. I keep him in toys and he is plowing through toys my macaw doesn't mangle the way he does. I feel so sorry for him would appreciate any ideas tips and pointers. I've never seen a bird this bad before. Val

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Dean La\'Venture - 2013-06-02
Hi i have a male 2 year old Triton cockatoo,and a female Citron-crested cockatoo she is 7 years old. My problem is she will not go no were near him what can i do. He wants to play with her but she dos'ent want to no him

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-06-03
    Well why not just keep them both in the same room, but not in the same cage. That way, they can have some companionship, but don't have to be best buddies. Over time, they will probably become much better friends, but let them take it at their own pace. That's what I would do:)
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Danny Bryan - 2012-06-18
How do I stop my male Citron-crested Cockatoo from being agressive and screaming for hours. I recently got him from my parents he is used to me but bites any chance he can get.

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-18
    Doesn't sound fun.  Cockatoos, by their nature, are extremely loving and affectionate parrots.  Yours has been moved and relocated and the people he was attached to are gone.  Big adjustment.  Think of trying to babysit a two year old.   Give him some time but talk to him, leave the TV on, let him see you and most important try and get him away from his cage and on a separate perch.  Perch on wheels that has toys and food dishes would be great cuz then you can move him by you as you are different places in the home.  Go slow with him and let him get acccostumed to you and your home.  Then I would just wait till he came to you - sorta like a pupppy does.  Was he affectionate and loving with your parents?  If he was then he will come around with you.  Toys - even sawed up 2 X 4 pine non treated will help give him something to do besides sceam.  If he wasn't loving around your parents - you might need books on training.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-21
    If I get all of this, you have a male and female Citron?  If so, the male is going to be very loud if you approach the cage and yes, he will bite.  He is protecting the female.  The female will also become very loud and extremely agressive during breeding season.  I don't know that they will return to their loving/ pet natures with humans once theyhave decided breeding season is over - or they have laid eggs. Some do and some don't.  I'd put up a nest box.  They will need to learn mating and breeding behavior (as will you) and the first couple of clutches may not result in babies, but they will catch on.
  • Danny Bryan - 2012-06-21
    He was not to friendly with my parents in the last few days. He's been getting alot better but the female is getting louder and louder
  • Richard - 2012-12-03
    Do NOT give your bird any milk, that is NOT good for them. Neither is caffeine, which can kill your bird. No chocolate You can give your bird apples, but NOT the seeds - that can kill the bird.
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JOHN - 2011-01-22
I have a pair of citrons that are approx 11 and have been together a long time. I want to put a breeding box on or in their cage and have been told to build a 12"x12"x24" t box. I don't understand the layout of a t box. Can someone help me 850-653-5114

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-18
    If you use a wooden box for Citrons = they will eat it faster than you can fix it. Suggest you go to China Praire farm and buy one. They are made from PVC = I blelieve. Still will chew but pretty indestructible. Other thought is a drum = I like the China Prarie with see doors and easy removal if need be.
  • enchilada111 - 2012-11-11
    Google a metal cockatoo breeding box. They come in a particular shape and are attached to the outside of the cage.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-11-11
    China Prarie farm makes excellent next boxes for all types of birds including cockatoos.  You select the box based on the bird - in your case cockatoo.  Link is http://chinaprairie.com/
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