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

James - 2007-02-14
I have been the proud owner of a citron cockatoo named boo boo,he is approx. 2 years old? I was told by this reputable store, that the last owner had kept him in a cage with no toys and locked in the spare room by himself! That the bird was owned by the husband who wanted to keep him, and a wife that wanted absolutely nothing to do with the bird. I'd would have let her go instead! --so lucky for me, boo boo is mine now and I wish I could meet with the people who let him go--really bad decision! Boo now walks out onto my hand from inside the cage and has a great vocabulary! It was such a sad story, because he is so charming. The stores problem, was every time anyone showed interest, boo boo would run amuck in the cage, or, as they put it "he's a psycho bird" Boo boo does not bite, scream or chew. He now has more love and toys now than he could know what to do with. If you have patience--these birds are greeeat!!

  • Camera - 2010-09-19
    Hi James!

    I had to write, because we have a little girl citron -- also named Boo Boo! Our Boo Boo is eight years old, and she would like to get married. Where do you live?
Stace - 2007-01-08
I am owned by a wonderful Citron Cockatoo named Tenny. He is a rescue and has been with me for about 8 years now. I love him more than anything! He is the funniest person I know and there is no other person Id rather spend my time with! But, he is a parrot, and like most parrots, are only about one generation out of the wild. They are still very much "wild" and they behave accordingly. He screams sometimes, and can be really loud. He is one of 12 parrots in the house. He is also very messy and my vacuum never gets put away! Sometimes this is hard to remember when you are looking at your parrot, in your living room, and he is acting crazy! It can be overwhelming! Please, anyone looking to share their life with a bird, do your research first. Know that they chew everything, they are loud and messy, and if you are an adult, they will probably outlive you. They are expensive to keep and to upkeep. And, no matter what anyone tells you, they will and do bite. Hard. Its usually nothing personal, its just the way it is. Its a way they can let us know they are upset or angry. Just yesterday, Tenny bit a hole through my lower lip. Yes, all the way through...I am an experienced parrot owner and have been doing this for a long time, and as Ive mentioned, I have 12. This is the kind of thing that can make a person give up their bird. This isn't the first time Ive been bitten. I needed stitches in my lip. All of my birds are rescues. Please think twice before getting a bird.

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:)
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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