Budgie parakeets > Talking birds > Cockatoos


These inhabit India, Australia, and the islands of Oceania. They are the largest among the race of parrots of the old world. They are pretty, graceful, docile, but are indifferent talkers.

They have tails of medium length, cheeks are feathered, and head is surmounted by a tuft or crest which they can raise or lower at will. The cockatoo seems to court notice more than the parrot, and uses many ingenious methods to attract attention. They are usually considered more of a thinking bird than any other class.

All cockatoos should be fed sunflower and hemp seed, cracked corn and padda, though they are fond of a variety of seeds, nuts and fruit. They should be kept either on a perch or in a very large cage, so that the crest will not be damaged.

Leadbeater Cockatoo
This is, without doubt the most beautiful of all the cockatoo family, and always attracts more attention than any other bird, with a possible exception of the scarlet macaw. It is about twelve inches long. The body of the bird is white, the neck and breast being delicately tinged with pink, as is also the underside of the wings and tail. It has a large crest, which usually lies flat to the head and is white and inconspicuous, but when slightly disturbed they will always raise and expand this crest, displaying its varied colors, which consist of brilliant stripes of red, yellow and white. The crest is often raised so suddenly as to startle the beholder and remind one of a "Jack-in-the-box." Thev are natives of Australia and congregate there in great flocks of frequently 1,000 or more. They are sometimes taught to speak, but are not as good talkers as the parrots.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
There are two species of these, one being about sixteen inches in length and the other smaller variety only ten or twelve inches long.

These birds are of clear white throughout, but the crest is of a bright lemon or sulphur yellow, and there is sometimes a shading of light yellow under the wings and tail. We have had lemon-crested cockatoos which could say a few wards; but it is usually quite difficult to teach them. They can be taught to perform many cute tricks.

Roseate Cockatoo
Commonly called Rosa cockatoo; is one of the commonest birds on the market and quite popular, being much cheaper than any other variety. It is of very light rose color, nearly white on the head; lower part of body deep pink or rose color. Wings and tail are dark ashen gray. It can be taught to repeat words, but never makes a good talker and is not as interesting, as it has but a slight crest.

There are a great many varieties of cockatoos, practically all of them being natives of Australia and the neighboring islands, but the above kinds are about the only ones brought to this country.

This charming bird, which is sometimes called Cockatillo, meaning "little cockatoo", is about the size of a pigeon
and is one of the most gentle and amiable of all the caged birds of this class. It resembles the Paroquet in general character­istics, but possesses a crest which it does not have the power to lower or raise at will like the true cockatoo.

The total length is about 10 or 11 inches, of which the tail constitutes about half. They breed readily in captivity, laying usually from five to seven eggs, which hatch in twen­ty-one days. They are long lived and noisy birds. They are of a rather somber dunn color, with red and yellow cheeks and bright crests.

The male bird has a face and crest of primrose yellow, with a round patch of brick red on the ear covers. The tail is black. Though they sometimes learn to talk, they are not classed with talking birds, but can be taught many cute tricks.