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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Data provided by
  • 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!
John Shelley Show - 2008-08-22
After all our kids moved out, we purchased our Aussie (umbrella cockatoo) when he was only 9 weeks old. Neither of us owned a large bird before (just small birds). HE IS THE BEST! He is 1 yrs old now. He doesn't say clear words yet but sure tries to say "good boy" and "Hi". We were amazed when we were able to potty train him in only a week. YEA. His wings are clipped but he walks all over the house as if he's the boss. When we get up and get ready for work, we bring Aussie out to keep us company and let him play while we get ready for work. Then when we have to leave we tell him we have to go to work and put him in his cage with the tv on and say "by-bye". He is in his cage during the day while we are at work which is a 72x36x48 loaded with toys, light/ceiling fan on, and a tv that is on while we are away (of course, cartoon network so he doesn't pick up anything bad). When we get home, we bring him out, he goes "potty", we applaud his good behavior and then he does whatever. He has a play gym in the living room that he can go on whenever he wants and a toy box loaded with all kinds of toys. He loves his balls he plays with that are soft rubber and some with little balls inside that he removes within seconds. He gets play time until 1 hour before bedtime and then we allow him to sit on our laps and get his nightly backrub/neckrub. He loves to be rubbed while he hides his head in a blanket or even our shirt. When he gets loud or out of control, we cover him with a blanket. If that doesn't work, then we have a "time-out" cage (36x36x48-his starter cage)in another separate room with a door. If he is naughty (perhaps bites), he gets "time-out". Usually only 10-15 min depending on the issue then we get him out and continue on as if nothing happened. He is a perfect angel when he comes out. He always tries to come to the one that put him in time out as if to say he's sorry---way awesome. He goes to bed at the same time every night-around 9pm. He is an awesome addition. Time out really works as it is in a different room from his normal cage and there is no toys and we leave the room dark. When he does good, we literally clap our hands and say "Aussie, good boy" and continue to reinforce that he is being a good boy. He knows commands such as: no, eat, potty, come, standup, stepdown, nite-nite and yes he can shake. We are looking forward to him talking, hopefully soon. He eats Zupreem fruits and veggies (pellet foods). He likes broccoli, carrots, king crab legs, shrimp, lobster and some fish. He also loves scrabbled egg beaters with me for breakfast. He eats raisens, soup crackers, animal cookies, peanuts and dry cereal. He likes to "chew" so we be sure to have things he can chew on everywhere so he won't chew on what he shouldn't. Oh yea, he loves to shower with us--this is a funny experience. He is quite at night and even when we sleep in on a weekend, he doesn't make a sound until we open his door and say "good morning".
These are awesome pets if you have space, time, compassion and lots of luv to give.

  • vallerie - 2010-09-18
    My cockatoo is 12 weeks old. He"s had his first shower and loved it.
    He goes to bed at 9 also in the morning I say good morning and open the shade at the window so he can look around out side.. trying to talk almost there, 99%potty trained
    but when I want him to stay on his perch in the living room sometimes it just does not happen working progress (lol) jrakkar is a picky eater not much for human food but still only 12 weeks old....
  • vallerie akerblom - 2010-10-12
    Mine is 15weeks old he says hello-supper-wacka wacka - working on how are you ..his name is jrakkar he knows his name very well we go for walks he has also been on the channel news last week..could not imagine not having him very picky eater.
Shirah Gantman - 2007-01-06
"In your "Care and feeding" paragraph you have a word 'Nutrition' that is highlighted to click on. When you just run your cursor over it, a balloon pops up that gives you a lot of food choices. This leads people to think that these are the foods that they can give their cockatoo. This is NOT THE FOOD THAT YOU GIVE TO YOUR COCKATOO!!! Because one of the electives in the balloon says CHOCOLATE, which is TOXIC to cockatoos and other birds as well.
The reason I am mentioning this, is that a friend of mine just got a 'too', and got into your site at my house and saw the nutrition thing. She says to me "Wow! How fun! You can give them Chocolate treats!!!" Then when I told her No this is not true, that it is toxic, she said "No it isn't! It says right here that these are the foods that you can give them"
I would advise you to change this, as it is very misleading, and may harm some Sweet "Toos" out there. And I know you wouldn't like this, as your site is very special and informative, and I know you care about animals.
Thank you for your time."

Cheryl - 2006-07-13
We have an Umbrella Cockatoo that was given to us a few months ago. She is 7 years old and has brought so much happiness to our lives. When we are not home, her cage has a box in it with toys, balls and wooden clothespins. She loves to go in the box and throw all her toys out. She also chews on the wooden clothespins which I replace everyday. The box, toys and wooden clothespins were suggested to me by her previous owner. She also goes in her plastic swimming pool outside and tosses her toys all around in the water! Scrambled eggs and apples are some of her favorite foods among a few. She is a very loveable and cuddly bird and I'm so happy that we "adopted" her!

Tina - 2004-04-01
I have had my cockatoo since he was 5 months old. He is now not only a pet, but my best friend. He is so much fun to play with and even knows when you are having a bad day in which case he will snuggle more than usual. If you are thinking about getting a bird I would suggest an umbrella cockatoo if you want a bird that is sweet and kind.

Lillie LeBlanc - 2012-01-21
We purchased our umbrella cockatoo - Abby for Christmas. She is 6 months old. She loves every toy we've either bought or made for her. We have no children & she is our only pet. I am a previous parrot owner - 12 yrs. and went 5 yrs. without one. Never owned an Umbrella Too. She is such a joy to have. Only problem so far is that she hates it when the TV is on. We watch it only at night & weekends. She ends up in her cage because she screeches & carries on so much we can't hear the TV!!! She actually doesn't mind going in her cage because she quiets down. Maybe I'll try leaving the TV on during the day....
No words yet but hopefully she will begin talking soon.

  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-21
    What a fun addition to your family! Just like any 'new baby' you will see her little personality emerge as time goes on. Seems to me, possibly, that when she sees you watching TV, she is feeling like she is not the center of attention. After all, if you were a bird, and your humans became very still and didn't move and looked at a box in the room, you may be a little disturbed too! lol Maybe try petting her or having her sit with you when you watch TV. If that does not work, maybe she will grow out of it, like all little kids do! Enjoy and thanks for the information!
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-23
    I don't know for sure what is true - only what is real. My birds would go nuts and talk and jabber and make me crazy if I wanted to watch a movie. I bought them their own TV with DVD's and would set up their TV for them. Surf's Up, Little Mermaid, Ninja Turtles etc. They love their TV and they talk to it and they learned many of the words. I then realized they weren't so much 'pitching a fit' when the TV went on as they were communicating with it and also trying to compete with it for my attention. My Panama Memorized Ninja Turtles and a couple and their teens came over to the home and my Panama said clearly 'drop your drawers, I have a pistol'. If it is your little guys bedtime, sure put him to bed, but otherwise you might want to just let him watch TV - their are kids programs during the day.

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