Cockatoo Behavior: 5 Facts You Should Know


Cockatoo Behavior: 5 Facts You Should Know

Cockatoos exhibit a range of fascinating behaviors. However, we, especially the uninformed, frequently misinterpret them. So, these are the behavioral traits of different cockatoos.

Cockatoo – As pets   Social behaviorTemperament VocalizationIntelligence 
Sulphur Crested CockatoosExcellent Adaptive Sometimes highly destructive and prone to biting Very loud- crackling soundsHigh
1. Almost as par with chimpanzees 
2. Can learn manners and tricks
3. Can mimic sounds
Umbrella CockatoosExcellent Very social Gentle, docile, and sweet-tempered but if not given anything to shred, they may become pretty destructive Very loudHigh
1. They are highly inquisitive 
2. Can learn manners and tricks
3. Easily trainable 
Moluccan CockatoosGreat Shy and cautious Affectionate but will self-mutilate when bored or stressed Loud, piercing calls High
1. They can learn to do tricks and dance 
Galah Cockatoos – Very loving Friendly Affectionate, sensitive, fun, and energetic Loud, high-pitched sounds 
Note: Not as louder as other cockatoos species. Not suitable as an apartment bird.
Very smart
1. Can imitate the human voice and other sounds 
Goffin Cockatoos – Great  Very socialAffectionate, playful, active, and curious. May also be mischievous. Screams but relatively quiet Very smart
1. A clever escape artist
2. Possess high problem-solving skills 
Carnaby’s black cockatoo  Not appropriate

Note: These are endangered birds. So, it is illegal to capture them.  
Social and adaptive Highly noisy Yes
Gang-gang cockatooYes Social and friendly Lively, playful, and affectionate but may display nervousness in captivity. Also, when anxious or bored, they are prone to feather picking.Talkative High
1. They can mimic sounds and repeat small phrases 

Note: Adopt these birds in pairs to prevent them from getting bored. 
Highly social Affectionate and elegant 
Note: Male cockatiels often hand upside down with the intention to defend their territory. 
A wide range of sounds- whistles, screams, whines, clicks, and trills High
1. Very curious 
Cockatoos’ Behavior

Cockatoos’ personalities vary greatly, both within and between different species of the same genus. So, before getting a cockatoo of any kind, receive advice from an expert or a veterinarian. To improve communication with it, keep a close eye on its behavior.

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Cockatoo nesting behavior

Both male and female cockatoos help hatch the eggs, just like pigeons.

Nesting behavior in cockatoos, aka hormonal or spring behavior, is observed during spring. These birds may exhibit strange behavior when they go through hormonal changes. For example, your cockatoos may scratch or rip up the paper covering of their cage. They can also remove their feathers on their own.

Besides, you might witness female cockatoos attempting to build a nest or searching for prospective nest-building materials. However, this instinct can become so powerful that the female cockatoo can pull her feather to compensate for nesting requirements.

Here are some other habits your cockatoo may exhibit during the nesting season.

  • Screaming
  • Being too affectionate 
  • Feather picking
  • Aggressive and territorial male 
  • Regurgitation of food, etc. 

Cockatoo egg-laying behavior

All birds are naturally able to lay eggs and raise young. So what is the cockatoo’s behavior when it lays eggs?

During the egg-laying season, the female experiences hormonal changes that frequently cause her to become extremely protective of her eggs. Within these birds, a maternal instinct is at work. They could act aggressively. As a result, they often attack the male bird or their mate.

Cockatoo breeding behavior

Every year, cockatoos reproduce and mate to produce eggs. So let us investigate their breeding habits.

The cockatoo pairings preen each other throughout the breeding season. On the other hand, black cockatoos frequently engage in courting feeding. Making happy noises is another action used by male birds to entice female partners. On the other hand, the females will accept food from the male in what appears to be a kiss.

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Because cockatoos are monogamous birds, their relationships last a lifetime or at least several years. A male cockatoo frequently exhibits the following behavior to attract females.

  • Makes mating calls
  • Pins its eyes on the female
  • Raises its crest  
  • Spreads its wings 

Cockatoo aggressive behavior

Cockatoos are affectionate birds that make excellent pets. But these birds can get aggressive from time to time. So let us explore their aggressive behavior.

A cockatoo will exhibit biting behavior if it becomes aggressive. Additionally, they can scream, hunch their heads, puff out their feathers, and pluck their own feathers.

Remember that an aggressive cockatoo is not always malicious. Instead, aggression frequently implies that the bird is poorly socialized, overstressed, bored, or afraid. 

Male and female cockatoo behavior

In general, both Male and Female Cockatoo exhibits the same general behavior. Both are intelligent, can imitate speech and sound, are capable of picking up tricks, etc.

With this, cockatoo personality or behavior differs depending on the species more than it does based on gender.


Cockatoos are, therefore, affectionate and make wonderful pets. In addition, they are exceedingly playful and intelligent. However, when they are mating and laying eggs, their behavior changes. Therefore, before adopting one, it is advised to educate yourself about these birds and their body language.

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