Animal-World > Birds > Cockatoos > Umbrella Cockatoo

Umbrella Cockatoo

White Cockatoo

Family: Cacatuidae Umbrella CockatoosCacatua albaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I am about to adopt an umbrella cockatoo and I'm a little nervous, I have the time and money to spend with and on the bird. He will never be completely alone in my... (more)  gigi

The two Umbrella Cockatoos pictured here are still babies under 3 months old, and still needing to be handfed twice per day!

These birds are extremely friendly and love to be handled. Like most cockatoos Umbrella Cockatoos make very loving pets that need lots of attention. They can learn to talk, as can most cockatoos and are easy to teach all kinds of tricks. 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

Geographic Distribution
Cacatua alba
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  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Cacatuidae
  • Genus: Cacatua
  • Species: alba
Umbrella Cockatoo Dancing

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Umbrella Cockatoo Dancing

Umbrella Cockatoo Dancing with Blow Dryer after Bath

Scientific name:Cacatua alba

Description: Umbrella Cockatoos are a full-sized cockatoo. They are primarily white with long wide crest feathers that resemble an umbrella when raised. The underside of the wings and tail is also frequently tinged with yellow. They have black beaks and dark-grey feet.

Care and feeding: A roomy cage is required (minimum 2 ft. x 2 ft. x 3 ft. high) 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.

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

Distribution: Is found in Obi, Halmahera, Ternate and Tidore in the central and nothern Moluccas, Indonesia.

Size - Weight: Mature birds are about cm (12 inches) in length. They are among the largest cockatoos.

Social Behaviors: In the wild, Cockatoos are friendly and peaceful. They are generally seen in small groups among the treetops.

Breeding/Reproduction: The hen will usually lay two eggs which will hatch in about 30 days. Both parents will brood and the young will wean in about 3 months.

See About Cockatoos: Breeding for more breeding information.

Sexual differences: Hard to tell with young birds. As they get older the iris of the females' eyes will develop a reddish color, the males' eyes will remain black. This is not always completely accurate so other means are necessary if you need to know "for sure" what sex a particular bird is.

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 available from time to time.

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

Lastest Animal Stories on Umbrella Cockatoo

gigi - 2014-07-19
I am about to adopt an umbrella cockatoo and I'm a little nervous, I have the time and money to spend with and on the bird. He will never be completely alone in my home. I'm worried about what room temperature I should keep for her and my biggest one is how to help her adjust to her new home. Her current owner is leaving her behind because she's worried that the stress of a long trip might kill her since she doesn't do well with traveling she's the sweetest bird I ever met and very affectionate she took right to me but her current owner is to busy to give all the attention that I've read about. If any one has any ideas on what to do please let me know.

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    Umbrella Cockatoos make great pets but they are extremely social (and needy for affection). They do need a good amount of attention but it sounds like you are ready and willing to take this wonderful bird on and give it a good home. When a parrot goes to a new home, it takes it about 30 days to become established. That gives you a great opportunity to set up a 'permanent' routine for care and feeding, out of cage time, and playtime. Wishing you both all the best!
Bill Roberts - 2014-07-01
I rescued my bird, I have had her for a little over 1 year, she is very loving and smart. When I first got her she was in very bad shape, she now is a very pretty and happy bird lately she is taking to very softly bite my skin and then rubbing her beak on me, is this normal show of love?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    I would say so, it sounds like a preening behavior, but modified for her unusual 'flock friend'.
lauren - 2014-06-28
I am very interested in owning a cockatoo. Having trouble deciding on a breed, so far I've read my favorite breed, the pink/red/gold major Mitchell, has a rather difficult temperament. Looking for the best breed for a first time bird owner.

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    Cockatoos in general are very social animals, which translates into very needy pets. Some of best mannered and readily available are the Umbrella Cockatoo, Lesser Sulfer-crested Cockatoo, Goffin Cockatoo, and the Bare-eyed Cockatoo. Others like the Citron-crested are more high strung, and the Rose Cockatoo, though a fine pet, it more rare and more expensive. But no matter which species you get, be prepared to give a lot of attention (and I suggest setting up a routine immediately with dedicated affection times and 'self entertainment times, to avert any unintended problems).
rebeca - 2014-05-22
I have an umbrella cockatoo that has been sitting on plastic eggs for abuot a month now. Is this going to hurt the bird? Should I remove them or let her do her thing? thanks Chuck

  • rebecca - 2014-05-22
    I do not want to give the bird away, just what I should do with the eggs?
Milla - 2013-07-15
I have read about cockatoos and saw videos about them and I just think that they're SO AMAZING, and I thought that it would be SO AWESOME to have one! So if you have one for sale or you know someone who has one for sale then PLEASE, PLEASE, pppppllllllleeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeee tell me! (; Thanks for listening! (;

GRISEL - 2012-11-08
I want to buy an umbrella cockatoo. Anyone selling some in or around dallas texas. Thanks! !

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-11-09
    You can look at the ads in the back of Bird talk Magazine.  You can Google search to see if there are any breeders near you and call them.  You can also Google search any bird sanctuaries in Texas - between the three places you should be able to find one.  When you are purchasing a feathered companion - you want to be able to hold it, cuddle with it, talk to it etc - you want the same sorta warm fuzzy feeling you get from holding a puppy or kitten.  A slightly older bird may be nervous or shy but you should be able to sit down on the sofa or floor and play with it.  If you wish to purchase an untamed bird - that is wonderful but read up on it a little first.
  • GRISEL - 2012-11-12
    are these birds good around children, and do these birds talk?
  • Nicolson - 2013-01-30
    Hey Grisel, are you still searching? We have some wonderful umbrella cockatoos among other parrots available and ready to go. Get back to us for more info and pricing.
sharon Rock - 2012-02-24
Want to sell three of umbrella cockatoo. Any interested person? Please email via

  • Leslie - 2012-02-27
    I am very interested in a baby or young umbrella cockatoo. Are they still available and what is the price for one? Do you know their sex? I currently have a 3 yr old female blue and gold macaw.
  • CRAIG - 2012-04-15
    The age of a cockatoo is not really a concern. There average life span is more than 60 years. I have a nine year old that laid three eggs this year. By the way, I live in an apt. . . . . . . . No complaints. Sophia is love by everyone around me. Craig