Animal-World > Birds > Cockatoos > Goffin Cockatoo

Goffin's Cockatoo

Family: Cacatuidae Goffin CockatooCacatua goffiniPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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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... (more)  Lily

   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

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.
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Terra Baker - 2008-12-01
Hi all you Goffins lovers. I have a 4 year old male Goffins. I got him at a bird show when he was quite young and he was parrot raised so he wasn't real people orientated. People just kept holding him and cuddling and you could see he was scared, but when I finally decided to hold him he went right under my hair and started to play with it and give me kisses. That was it, I bought him and home we went. It took a few weeks for him to get used to me putting my hands in his cage to get him. I literally had to pry him out and then just cuddle and talk to him. Now a few years later he loves me to death, he talks to me, dances, and sings. If I am sitting on the couch he climbs down from his playstand and climbs up the couch to visit and play. He is so funny. I love all my birds but he holds a special place in my heart. So if you decide a Goffins is for you then you will not be disappointed in him but as people have said they are escape artists and they will chew up anything. So be prepared, and as big a cage as you can get is the best. Mine is in a macaw cage. He is very active, so this way he has lots of room to jump around. Terra, Kermie (Eclectus). Geromino (Goffins). and Miso ( African Grey), all from chicago.

  • KNinVA - 2013-03-13
    Hi Terra. I totally agree with you. My Goffin loves to cuddle and play AND DESTROY Toys....but they are supposed to. The downside of this is it is costly. For those of you thinking about getting a Goffin - I spend about $100 every two weeks just on toys! I'm now starting to purchase toy parts and make my own because it is costly.....be prepared...these little guys need lots of stimulus and a daily does of destruction!!!
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Penny - 2004-08-04
You could not ask for a more fun loving, busy little bird. I have had Chloe for 4 years now,( she was a rescue bird). And I would not trade her for the world! She is sweet, loving, happy go lucky, center of attention, spoiled lil brat. She cries for attention, but knows I will not give in to her every whim. She has tons of toys and plays with every one of them. Her favorate thing to do is string beads! She will string beads for hours, and I spend hours picking them all up and stringing them for her so she can start all over again, destring and string. She is a Blast.

  • KNinVA - 2013-03-13
    Great idea! thanks for the tip....
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Libba - 2006-09-30
I just recently got a cockatoo, the blue eyed kind. She is now 9months old. I also have a quaker, indian ring neck and two love birds. Angel my cockatoo is the sweetest bird, she had learned within days of having her how to say mommy, I love you, give kisses, and I am working on teaching her more words. She has a stand and a large cage. She is held by me, and my two 8 year old daughters. I do put her on her stand and her cage so she is not being held all day. I have learned that is bad for her and can harm her. In don't want her used to being held all day then putting her up and having her hurt herself out of depression. Angel has never bitten anyone in my family, she is so loving ans sweet, she has the funniest personality, she loves to dance and show off her feathers. She loves to go outside with me, I just got her a harness for extra protection. I just recently had to take her to the vet ER, she broke a major blood feather, so please on the young ones watch their blood feathers. they are still babies, clumsly and can die fast if their blood feather is broken. if you do not have the Styptic powder you can use flour until you can get your cockatoo to a vet. The best thing is to have the blood feather pulled, because there is a good chance they will continue to hurt it. I am so glad Angel picked me when I went to the pet store, I can't imagine my life without her and I find the cockatoo is one of the most beautiful, smart, outgoing and silliest birds out there. Just please make sure you have time for them before you buy them, they are cuddle bugs and do need extra love and attention. I am disabled and believe me the love you get in return is worth the extra time and effort, you have just found a best friend for life.
Thanks, Libba

  • Cynthia Orsburn-Lopez - 2013-01-20
    I have a cockatiel.. I would love to buy more birds.. I've seen in pictures that there are birds all different size get along well.. I'd like to know if it's hard to get all the birds to get along and is it safe for then to share cage?
  • Paulette - 2013-02-06
    Oh, I totally agree, for I too, own a Goffin's Cockatoo! They are extremely sweet, but yet, extremely needed little bundles of love! It takes a special owner to own one of these God's creatures! You have to hold these birds, but yet, not too much, for they will become depressed and turn to feather destruction. So, a nice balancing act of affection and alone time is required each and everyday of these bird's lives! I own 15 lovebirds and just one little girl Goffin, who will be a year old in April 2013. I, too, am disabled and have ample time for all my birds. The lovebirds and cockatoo do NOT get along at all!!! Each one is jealous of the other! Heck, the lovebirds are jealous of each other, as well, not at just the cockatoo!!! But, you do NOT for any reason, what to allow these two different birds, any time alone with each other, for the little lovebird will be killed instantly! My live is so much better with my babies in it! I honestly, do not know what I'd do without my loving babies!! Thank you, Lord, for bringing each of them into my life! I hand raised each and every one of the lovebirds from eggs, so they are so, so, sweet!! Still, today, I have to hand feed my goffin twice a day, but I'm working on weaning her little by little, with less and less hand formula. She sits and cries constantly, each and every morning, until she gets her nice, hot, food, fed by her mommie!! What a life! I honestly, would not change a thing....
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Lion - 2014-05-11
Hi Ido have my cockatoo that I bought, he seemed to be sick when I first got him. He doesn't talk or eat much and he does have a shortness in breath when he flies a short distance, so I went to robinson animal hospital to get him checked and they gave me bene bac pet gel and baytrill antibiotic. That was 7 days ago and I didn't notice any changes in him so please give me some advice, what might he have a problem with and what I should do? Thanks.

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Shannon - 2013-09-30
My 14 year old son found a Goffin's Cockatoo for sale on line in our local area, he has been wanting a bird for a very long time and had earned his own $ this summer so in July we adopted a Goffin's Too... She came with a large cage and lots of toys (thank goodness) we were told that she is between 3-4 years old (the women we got here from was not the original owner so she didn't know for sure..and we also don't know for sure that she is female (I have not had her DNA tested yet... I do plan to though) I assume she is female because she had brownish eyes rather than black. Anyway she is such a sweetheart, we live in Fl and have a covered patio by our pool and that is where her cage is.. She loves it outside... And we spend a lot of time outside (we live on our patio most of the time, we have a TV out here and we eat most of our meals out here too) so she gets lots and lots of attention, when we are home she is never locked in her cage.. So she's out a lot.. She is a very happy bird and has bonded with all of us, my son, husband and myself.. I have been doing a lot, a lot of reading and research on Goffin's and have read that an all seed diet is not good and that I should be giving her pellets, fruits & veggies.. Well here is my problem.. She does not want anything to do with anything I introduce to her... And I have tried a lot of different things from hard boiled eggs to green leafy veggies, fruits.. And of course I went and got her the all organic pellets as soon as I discovered that the all seed diet is not good for her... Any suggestions, advice.. I love her so much already and don't want her diet to end up causing her issues down the road...

  • Cacatua goffini - 2013-12-10
    Congratulations! If your Goffin has brown eyes she's a female. I'm sure she is delightful. An all seed diet isn't the best for her. You are going to have to be as stubborn as she is. At first you'll just be wasting food, but if you keep at it eventually she'll start to see what you're offering her as food. It may take days, it may take months, but keep offering. Good luck!
  • Callista - 2014-04-01
    I, too, have a picky cockatoo. Try making her a quiche or an omelet, and stick what you want her to eat in it. Gradually decrease the amount of quiche/omelet fed with the veggies, and when there is none left, chop it up really small with something she does like. Eventually she'll learn to eat it.
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