Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

Home ] Up ] Galah ] Gang Gang Cockatoo ] Glossy Black Cockatoo ] Goffin's Cockatoo ] Little Corella ] [ Major Mitchell's Cockatoo ] Red tailed Black Cockatoo ] Salmon crested Cockatoo ] Slender billed Corella ] Sulphur crested cockatoo ] Western Long billed Corella ] White Cockatoo ] White tailed Black Cockatoo ] Yellow crested Cockatoo ] Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo ]

. Major Mitchell's cockatoo
This page is Sponsored By:
Your Name, Your Address
Refer to "Advertise on web" web page
We specialise in xxxxxxxx birds / product
Contact us on: (0X) XXXX XXXX
or e-mail us @ .............
    Major Mitchell's cockatoo
  • An Australian Parrot                                             (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Scientific Name: Cacatua leadbeateri (nominate C. l. leadbeateri. Other subspecies C. l. mollis )
  • Sub Species: 2 .... C. l. leadbeateri, C. l. mollis
  • Origin / Distribution: Inland Australia. Found in all states of Australia except Tasmania.
  • Habitat In Wild: Arid and semi-arid interior of Australia.  Lives in lightly timbered grasslands and scrublands.
  • Status In Wild: Probably declining due to habitat loss and loss of suitable nesting trees.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure.  Not bred in captivity very often.  Many young are legally harvested from the wild.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 3 to 4 years.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 5th or 6th year onwards.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic Differences are slight.
  • Colour mutations: None
  • Availability: Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: One pair per aviary.  Does not make a good pet.  Can be noisy.  For a pair to be successful breeders it is preferable for the pair to develop a strong pair bond prior to reaching sexual maturity.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $500
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 360 - 400 mm (or approx. 14 - 16 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above       (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx 300 - 400 gms (or approx 12.5 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

An aviary of 4 to 5 metres long will allow these birds to be able to get adequate exercise.  The aviary should be about 1.5 to 1.8 metres wide and about 2.4 metres high.  Some breeders use 1.2 metre wide cages with a height of 2.1 metres.  Heavy gauge wire is necessary, preferably galvanized weldmesh.

Suitable non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Native foods include seeds of the Acacia, Eucalypt and the introduced Pine species along with the seeds of grasses and other plants.  Branches, seeds and cones of these trees and other suitable native plants should be offered to the birds along with branches and fruiting bodies of the cotoneaster and hawthorn bushes.  This will provide them with hours of physical activity and mental stimulation as well as a varied diet.

Aviary diet should restrict the amount of Sunflower and safflower seed.  Other seeds include canary, corn, hulled oats, millet, milo, and wheat.

Other foods can include apple, almonds, peanuts, vegetables such as broccoli, corn, peas and silverbeet.  Plain Madeira cake, and seeding grasses.  Many will eat insects such as grubs and mealworms.  Dry dog food can be offered.

Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

A solid log is the preferred nest for large cockatoos.

Many pairs are intolerant of nest inspections especially for the first two weeks after the young have hatched.  Nest inspections should be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • Nesting months: May to December.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 1000 - 1200 mm (or approx. 40 - 48 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 300 mm. (or approx. 12 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 300 mm square (or approx. 12 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. ? mm (or approx. ? inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.
    • Angle of log or nest box = Log can be hung vertically or at an angle of up to 45 degrees. Success has been achieved with logs without a lid; the birds using the open top end as the nest entrance.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 1.  Eggs per nest 2 - 4.  Incubation approx 24 - 25 days.  Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks.  Independent approx. another 4 months.

For a pair to be successful breeders it is preferable for the pair to develop a strong pair bond prior to reaching sexual maturity.  It takes about 4 years for the birds to be mature enough to commence breeding. Cock birds can be very aggressive.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 60 No 3 Mar 2006 Page 66.
  • A/A Vol 55 No. 9 Sept 2001 Page 201-204 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 54 No. 4 Apr 2000 Page 74-77 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 3 Mar 1992 Page 60-64 (Canary Islands) (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 1 Jan 1992 Page 7-15
  • A/A Vol 30 No. 3 Mar 1976 Page 38-46 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 2 Feb 1971 Page 27-28.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 8 Aug 1954 Page 90.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 6 Jun 1954 Page 71.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 5 May 1954 Page 56-57.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2005 Page 669-673 (Corellas & Cockatoos of  inland Australia)
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2005 Page 618-619.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2001 Page 566-569.
  • ABK Vol 10 Issue 8. Apr-May 1997 Page 390-395
  • ABK Vol  9 Issue 2. Apr-May 1996 Page 58
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1995 Page 538-540
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1995 Page 475-478
  • ABK Vol  5 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1992 Page 176-179
  • ABK Vol  5 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 1992 Page 35-39

Top of - Major Mitchell's cockatoo - Page is one of the world's largest and most informative avian or bird web sites.  Copyright 2002 - 2008 inc.  All rights reserved.  Disclaimer:  This web site has been compiled from material provided from a large number of sources.  Personal experience and personal contacts have been used.  Results vary according to factors such as environmental factors, aviary design and the physical and genetic backgrounds of all living birds/animals.  Every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material but no responsibility is accepted by  for the accuracy of the material on this web site. The intent of this web site is to provide a "care sheet"  format and provide general material only.  Readers should rely upon their own enquiries in making any decisions relating to their own interests.