Scientific Name:  Cacatua alba              

Range: Australia                                

Habitat: Forests, open woodlands, mangroves, swamps, usually in tree canopies  

Diet: Primarily fruit, seeds and nuts           

Life Span: About 40 years in captivity    

Description: A large white parrot, with yellow coloration on the underside of their wings and tail. It is known as the Umbrella Cockatoo because of their broad, backward-bending crest of feathers around their head. Their beak and legs are dark grey. They usually weigh between 16-20 ounces. Their wingspan is about 9-12 inches.

Family Life: Male cockatoos have a very impressive mating ritual. They ruffle their feathers, spread their wings and bounce up and down. Pairs usually mate for life. They generally choose nesting holes in large trees.  Females may lay up to 3 eggs, but only one will be cared for.  If the first is malformed or unhealthy, they will raise the second chick. Both males and females incubate the eggs, as well as, care for the chicks as they mature. Chicks will learn to fly at 3 months of age, but remain with their parents for up to 5 months.  Once a chick is able to care for itself, the three will rejoin the flock together.  There can be up to 15 birds within each flock.

Status in the Wild: Threatened, due to habitat loss, and pet trade

Nature Notes:  Cockatoos are smart birds that have been seen using branches to scratch their heads, or using them to bang against trees to alert others of danger. They are known to disperse seeds of plants and flowers.  They are also very affectionate birds.