Animal-World > Birds > Cockatoos > Goffin Cockatoo

Goffin's Cockatoo

Family: Cacatuidae Goffin CockatooCacatua goffiniPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I have a 10 year old Goffin. I've he's been with me for two years. I'm not sure of his past ... I am at the least, his third home (and, his last ... I love him very... (more)  Bill

   The Goffin's Cockatoo are known to be clowns, and are extremely playful!

Goffin's Cockatoos often have the peculiar habit of putting things on their backs, or tossing them over their heads. They will hop straight up and down and love to dance. Acrobatic tricks often become second nature to them.

   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: goffini

Scientific name:Cacatua goffini

Distribution:    Goffins are native to the Tenimber islands of Indonesia.

Description:    Goffin's Cockatoos are a smaller cockatoo that is white with pink highlights in front of the eyes and on the breast. They are one of the better talkers among the cockatoos. They are easy to teach all kinds of tricks. Cockatoos in general are a very loving type of bird that needs a lot of attention from their owners. Buy a cockatoo only if you can spend a lot of time with it.

Care and feeding:   A cage of at least 20" x 20" 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. They eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and commercial pellets, as well as the same nutritional foods humans eat. The Rose-breasted Cockatoo should be fed a less oily diet (sunflower seeds and other oily seeds) than other cockatoos since they can develop fatty tumors known as lipomas.

   See About Cockatoos: Housing and About Cockatoos: Care and Feeding for more information.

Size - Weight:    The Goffin's are the smallest of the cockatoos. Mature birds are about 22.5 cm (9 inches) in length.

Social Behaviors:    Wild Cockatoos are friendly and peaceful. They live together in flocks of 20 or more birds.

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

Sexual differences:    Hard to tell with young birds. As they get older the females' eyes will develop a lighter brown color, the males' eyes will remain black.

Potential Problems:    Cockatoos can be quite loud screechers. The behaviour 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.

Availability:    These birds are readily available and are inexpensive for a cockatoo.

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

Lastest Animal Stories on Goffin Cockatoo

Bill - 2015-02-15
I have a 10 year old Goffin. I've he's been with me for two years. I'm not sure of his past ... I am at the least, his third home (and, his last ... I love him very much). He has the feather plucking problem ... it's not terrible and it varies in intensity. But, what I'd like to ask is: He will snuggle with me and put his tail feathers up and lower his head and nod his head up and down ... almost spasmodically ... accompanied by clucking. He seems to be enjoying this in an almost sexual way. Is this behavior okay? Or, should I be discouraging it?

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-15
    What a great bird! and I'm so glad you will be lifelong companions... that rocks! His feather plucking can be helped and his other behavior is fine. The bobbing, snuggling, clucking stuff is an indication that you are his affectionate mate, and he's letting you know as best he can. I wouldn't discourage it. On the plucking, these birds are extremely social, as well as intelligent and active. They get bored or lonely, which is often the reason they begin to pluck. But plucking can become a habit, so it's best to address it right away. It sounds like you are giving him plenty of attention, a tip: set up a time every day for this so he learn a routine that he can count on. That can help free you up at other times so he won't become constantly demanding. Then give him all sorts of activities when he needs to entertain himself... chewing activities! These birds like softer things like cotton rope. Towels, sheets or blankets draped over part of the cage are also good, and tons of soft wood branches... like pine, can also keep these birds well occupied. There's toy combinations that you can purchase at pet stores too... but just limit the amount of harder things like acrylics, manzanita type hardwoods, etc. Hope this helps:)
  • Bill - 2015-02-16
    Thank you, Clarice, for getting back to me. Jack (that's his name) has tons of 'toys' and stuff he's allowed to chew ... and, occasionally, he helps himself to things he's not allowed to chew (like my key board!!!). He was nearly 8 when he came to live with me ... and, he lived with a lady before he came here for nearly a year. I don't know much about his previous history or how many homes he had during his first 5 years. But, from what I've read, his feather plucking is probably going to be with him for a very, very long time. He has a history of plucking his feathers for that year before he came here. Like I said, I don't know much about his history before that. I do everything I can to assure him he is loved and give him lots of attention ... lots of out of cage time ... and he flys all over the house. A year ago, during the warm moist weather, he nearly quit the plucking all together ... but, then resumed this winter (I think the drier air influences the plucking). So, I'm hoping once the humidity rises he'll quit again. My theory is: It may take years, but once he learns that he is 'home' and feels secure about his place in the world ... he'll give up the plucking altogether. :-)
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-18
    What a great bird Jack is... and what a great home he has:) I was thinking, you might be able to get a humidifier for his room. An Umbrella Cockatoo one of my customers had plucked so much that it was basically totally featherless. We put tons of branches in his cage and soft blankets over one side, and he was so busy he began to forget to chew as much. Slowly feathers started to come back, but unfortunately not all... probably just too much damage done. But even without a full plummage, he was a healthy bird and had a great loving home too. So good luck to you and Jack!
Nathalie - 2005-11-26
I've had Jordi for 5 months now. He was in the Pet shop for 2 years -nobody would buy him cause of the feather plucking.

I've spent most of my vacation time with him, gave him a huge cage, built him a tree and given him tons of toys. Even when i go work in the morning, i let him out of his cage, in the bird room with by tiels and budgies, which have their own pen.

He has never plucked a feather again, is beautiful now, very playful and expressive. He has learned to say Hello, Peanut, Up- Pet-me, to give me the paw, to wave... He is very jealous and possessive, and so active and acrobatic. He loves to destroy all kind of stuff. He dances, loves music...

Life would not be the same without Jordi. I love this bird!

Paola - 2014-09-10
Hi! May I ask some questions to those of you who already live with a Goffin Cockatoo (if that's the case, I envy you so much!)? - are Goffin Cockatoos particularly loud? I live in the centre of a big Italian metropolis. I already own several budgies and a male galah, the best pet ever (trust me, he is: I was 16 when I bought him and deep in clinical depression; he's helped me so much during these years we've lived together and now, also thanks to his 'support', I feel muuuch better; without him my life would be worse). The galah is really quiet and generally silent. Are Goffins generally screamers? - usually, do Goffins get along well with other parrots? As I said, I live with a male galah and if I decide to adopt a Goffin I hope that they'll make friends. My galah is very shy, but also curious. While the breeder was hand-feeding him, he spent his days with his brother and other cockatoos and amazons, but since then he's never had any contact with other parrots. He sees the budgies, of course, but they look so different I wonder if he considers them similar to him. Probably, considering that they would have to live together (even if in two different cages) and that the galah is a male, it would be better to choose a female Goffin, don't you think? Thank you very much, I really need your advices. Sorry for my probable grammar mistakes, English is not my mother tongue. A presto!

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-10
    Yes, cockatoos are known to be very loud at times, and this is true of the Goffin.  Good that you are asking questions, because cockatoos are very needy for the affection of their human companion. If you decide to adopt another parrot, you may very well find yourself dealing with a jealousy situation. It also takes a lot of time for birds to accept new introductions. For your currently contented and quiet Galah,  you'll want to have a plan for each days interactions to make sure he doesn't develop behavior problems like feather plucking or screaming.  A parrot's cage is his safe place, and I would also suggest you will want separate cages for each bird as well, until such time as they show you they are best friends and happy to share a cage.
Lily - 2013-05-22
I recently acquired a goffin's cockatoo. Rescue bird. The previous owner that had him, I heard, got evicted and went to jail for drugs. He is extremely afraid and plucks his feathers. I have had him for about 4 months. I got him a large cage. He previously had a small one. He has lots of toys and gets fed well. I have recently gotten him off seeds, which is what he was sent with, and on Harrisons as well as fresh foods. He is still pretty picky with eating but getting better. I have taken him to the vet and am still waiting on results to see if there are underlying issues for his feather picking before I do anything else. He is supposed to be approximately 3 years old. He sometimes makes a few noises but most of the time sits in one spot and doesn't seem interested to get to know me. I also have a sun conure, approximately 12 years old and their cages are right next to each other. My sun is more bonded to me, and humans, but my goffin seems to identify more with my conure. I have had mainly dogs all my life except for my conure and am not too familiar with cockatoos, which I understand need a lot of stimulation. My boyfriend has had birds his whole life, 3 amazons growing up and the last just recently passed a few years ago. Any information on goffins, feather picking, fearful birds (cockatoos) than anyone can give would be extremely helpful. He is gaining weight and looks healthy but his feather picking is getting worse and he has developed some abscesses under his wings from picking. I got an ecollar from the vet but Im worried that this will be damaging to his mental health because of how he already acts. I tried it on my conure because he can handle a lot of situations and he had a hard time with it and would only flop around. Any information on a feather picking (flight suit) would also be useful as I think I may want to try that first. Im in this too the end and would not think of rehoming this bird another time as I understand its very damaging. I am planning on trying the foraging bit as well as tv for entertainment while I am at work. Thanks again for any help!!!

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-22
    It's so great that you're giving this bird a great home, and a chance to get normalized. Here's a few thoughts. Birds have incredibly long memories, so it will take a long time for him to get brave with his new world. Birds also prefer other birds over people, so it's no surprise he does best with the Sun Conure, and it's actually really great that you have a companion for him (and for the Sun, though they're not as needy). But don't give up,he's smart and he is watching, so he will learn about you from observing you and your conure interact. Something that can help with the plucking, besides all the normal stuff you'll read and hear about... try a soft cotton blanket in the cage with him, or covering one side where he can pull on it. We've had success with that. If he likes it, he will chew on it constantly and it will be destroyed, but it offers him a soft replacement for his feathers and can help keep him occupied. Good luck and all the best to both of you:)
  • Eileen West email - 2014-06-18
    Lily how's it going with your goffin? My bird Abram has a plucking problem too, especially since my husband died on Jan 30 2014 Abram was inconsolable. The only thing that helps is lots of attention and more attention. However I've found red palm oil also helps, it comes in a little jar at health food stores like sprouts.
kacyliew - 2011-10-13
I had a goffin too. Three years ago I moved out of my landed property where it was allowed to move along a long bamboo placed in the garden to an apartment. At the apartment, it was left unchained on the balcony on a T shaped clothes bamboo holder that allows it to look out on to the greenery and tree tops as its 12th storey high. One day, it was attracted by some other wild parrot and later flew down to the tree top. As it was captive for sometime, it could not fly very steadily but landed on the tree below. We went down to the car park where the tree was grown to try to
persuade it to come down but to no avail. It spent the night perched on the tree. Next morning, we went down to check and that poor fella, hungry and
lonely flew down to land on my maids head. The maid regularly fed her and there was this bond established so it chose to return to her.
Goffins are affectionate towards their handlers and its a pity that I had to give it away because I felt unreasonable to keep it at a limited space environment. Now I want to buy a yellow crested cockatoo. Any suggestions where I can get one baby bird at a reasonable price??