Cockatoos are most widely known for the big crests of feathers that they display on the tops of their heads, but there are plenty of other fun and fascinating Cockatoo facts for bird lovers to focus on. For example, did you know that all Cockatoo species hail from Australia? That's right, every single one of these large parrots have origins "Down Under!" If you are interested in learning more about these beautiful and fascinating birds, then keep reading -- some of the surprising Cockatoo facts below might possibly blow your mind!
Hand-fed Cockatoos are very affectionate.
Cockatoos, when hand fed as babies and properly tamed, tend to form extremely strong lifelong bonds with their owners. They are also known to be one of the most affectionate parrot species, craving petting from their owners, and preferring to be on or near them at all times. In fact, some Cockatoos can become depressed if they feel like their owners aren't showing them enough attention, and this can lead to side effect such as feather plucking and destructive behavior. For this reason, they are only recommended for those who have a lot of time to devote to handling and socializing with their pets.
Cockatoos are prone to becoming overweight.
Over the years, captive pet Cockatoos have been shown to have a propensity for weight gain and obesity if their diets aren't carefully monitored. Because of this, Cockatoo owners are normally encouraged to offer their birds access to minimal seed and a variety of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables instead. In addition to restricted seed intake, Cockatoo owners are sometimes also cautioned to reserve items such as nuts and breads for treats, and refrain from including them in their bird's daily meal offerings. Depending on the body condition of an individual bird, an avian vet might also offer more specific dietary recommendations.
Cockatoos have a "three-way" bite.
One of the most distinctive features of a Cockatoo's body (aside from their impressive feather crests) are the lower mandibles of their beaks. If you take a close look at a Cockatoo's lower jaw, you'll notice a prominent "u" shaped region missing from the "bottom lip" area of the beak. This scoop-shaped feature allows a Cockatoo to have what is known as a three-way bite, giving their beaks extra power when clamping down on foods, branches, and even the fingers of their human caretakers! Because of this feature, Cockatoos have the capacity to deliver bites that are more painful and damaging than birds of a similar size; something for prospective owners to keep in mind.
The rarest Cockatoos have black feathers.
One of the rarest and arguably most beautiful types of Cockatoo is the Black Palm Cockatoo. These very large and impressive parrots can grow to be 24 inches long from the beak to the end of the tail, and can live for more than 60 years in captivity. While they are referred to as "black," their plumage is actually a very dark gray, smokey color. The bright pinkish-red patches on their cheeks are a striking accent to their feathers, making these one of the most sought after Cockatoos in the pet trade.
Cockatoos are extremely loud.
While all parrots can scream, Cockatoos are notoriously loud. Because of their extremely boisterous voices, they are not recommended for people who live in apartments or in otherwise close proximity to their neighbors. A Cockatoo's contact call can be heard for up to a mile or more away, so it's no wonder why they aren't a good choice for small spaces.