White Cockatoo
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. white cockatoo
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  • Scientific Name: Cacatua alba
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: ?
  • Origin / Distribution: Moluccan Islands, Indonesia.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forested areas and surrounding secondary vegetation.
  • Status In Wild: Declining due to trapping and loss of suitable habitat.  Deforestation removes their preferred foods and destroys the large hollow branches and trees necessary for the remaining birds to successfully breed.  Listed in the CITES appendix 11.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 4 years.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months  
  • Best breeding years (estimate): From the 5th year onwards.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  May be sexed by comparing eye colour.
  • Mutations: No
  • Availability: Rare
  • Temperament: Can be noisy destructive birds.  Often kept as a single bird as a pet or companion bird.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $Lots
  • Description Of Adults:  The crest when erect is broad at the top and about 100mm (4 inches) long.  The crest looks like an upside down umbrella, hence its alternative name - the Umbrella Cockatoo.
  1. Length: Approx. 380 - 460 mm (or approx. 15 - 18 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)

The name Umbrella Cockatoo is derived from the shape the crest forms when raised.

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.

As a large bird, the White Cockatoo needs an aviary of about 5 metres (16 feet) long and 1200mm (4 feet) wide.

They can be housed and bred in a suspended cage about 5000mm long x 1200mm x 1200mm.

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.

Natural diet includes seeds, berries, nuts and fruits, plus flower and leaf buds.  Insects form part of their natural food intake.

An aviary diet usually include a seed mix plus a variety of fruits and a variety of vegetables.  Green leafy vegetables such as silverbeet, endive, spinach.  Soaked or sprouted seed if available.  Cockatoos will consume insects such as mealworms including the larvae, pupa and beetles.  Quality commercial parrot pellets can form part of a balanced food intake.

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.

  • Nesting months:
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 600 - 1000 mm (or approx. 24 - 40 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 350 - 450 mm (or approx. 14 - 18 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 700 mm square (or approx. 18 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 100 mm (or approx. 4 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 - 150 mm (or approx 4 - 6 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 or nest box can be vertical or on an angle of up to 45 degrees.
  • 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.  Incubation approx.  28 days.  Fledge approx. 12 weeks.  Independent approx. another ? weeks.

The White Cockatoo usually start breeding at about 4 or 5 years of age.

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

  • Australian Birdkeeper

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