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Umbrella Cockatoos


Umbrella Cockatoos

The large, impressive crest is the most distinctive feature of the Umbrella Cockatoo.

Common Names:

Cockatoo, Umbrella Cockatoo, White Cockatoo.

Scientific Name:

Cacatua alba.




About 24 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tailfeathers.

Average Lifespan:

Umbrella Cockatoos can live up to 80 years or more in captivity, when properly cared for.


Umbrella Cockatoos are gentle, docile, and sweet tempered by nature, making them well suited to be companion birds. They are very rarely aggressive, and quickly form strong bonds with their caretakers.


Umbrella Cockatoos are primarily white with yellow on the underside of their wing feathers. They have black beaks and gray or black feet. Some exhibit a tinge of light blue in the rings around their eyes.


Like all large parrots, Umbrella Cockatoos are big eaters. The best diet for one of these birds should consist of a high quality extruded pellet, and should be supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, and the occasional nuts or seeds every day.


Umbrella Cockatoos are active birds, and like all parrots, need ample time out of their cage each day for play and exercise. The strong beak of the Umbrella Cockatoo must be exercised as well, so it's a good idea to provide these birds several chewable bird toys.

Umbrella Cockatoos as Pets:

The vast majority of handfed Umbrella Cockatoos make extremely sweet, charming, intelligent, and well behaved pets. Just as with any bird, however, prospective owners should be sure that they can meet the needs of an Umbrella before rushing out and buying one.

Umbrella Cockatoos are large birds, and they need a large cage and area to play in. They can also be quite loud when they decide to be, being able to produce a call that can be heard for up to 3 miles away! This may mean that an Umbrella may not be the best choice for those who live in apartments or condos, or those with close neighbors.

Umbrellas are also very social and very intelligent, meaning that their brains need stimulation on a daily basis. A properly prepared Cockatoo owner should have an arsenal of safe bird toys at his or her disposal, and should be able to devote a minimum of one to two hours a day to socializing with their pet. Most Cockatoos thrive on being handled, loved and petted, so affectionate owners are a good match for these parrots!

For a person that can meet the needs of these magnificent birds, Umbrella Cockatoos can be the best feathered friend in the world. Most are gentle enough to be handled by older children, and many Umbrella Cockatoos are beloved family pets. They can be taught to do tricks and mimick speech, making them delightfully entertaining companions for bird lovers both young and old. No wonder these big white parrots are so popular -- their comical charms with steal your heart!

Photos of "Casper" 2006 Courtesy of Patricia Lowery and Marvette Hillis.

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