Do Cockatoos Like Music? 3 Facts You Should Know

Piyali Das

Do Cockatoos Like Music? 3 Facts You Should Know

Cockatoos are one of the most intelligent, affectionate, and well-known bird species that belong to the parrot family. Let us find out if cockatoos like music or not.

Cockatoos like music a lot. They are very fun-loving and curious in nature. They are vocal birds that have abilities to scream loudly. Their brains have strong auditory-motor connections that makes them sound sensitive. Receiving high frequencies of music makes them feel happy just like humans.

The brain of a cockatoo has complex cognitive abilities which are why they are able to explore the world beyond their primitive instinct. Living with humans for years makes them curious about human behavior, and they also try to mimic them in certain ways. This is one of the other reasons why they love music.

Australian National University documented that during a project they found that male palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) from Northern Australia use a modified stick or seedpod to strike a hollow tree limb repeatedly to create musical beats. This incident shows their keen interest in music.

Do cockatoos understand music?

Cockatoos love music very much. They like to listen to music as well as they react following every beat of that. Let us find out if cockatoos understand music or not.

Cockatoos do not understand music. Though they are very intelligent, they can not understand its lyrics. The brain of cockatoos is able to receive the various sound frequencies of music and their certain areas of the brain react to that. But they are not able to understand the music.

Image credits: Citron-crested Cockatoo by Doug Janson licensed under (CC BY-SA 3.0)

What kind of music do cockatoos like?

Cockatoos are sometimes choosy about music. Let us find out what kind of music cockatoos like.

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Some of the cockatoos like classical music whereas some others love to listen to loud pop and rock music. Most of them like to listen to music having a continuous base and beats. While listening to them they make different body movements also.

Do cockatoos like to dance to music?

As a notorious vocal learners, cockatoos love music beats a lot. Let us find out if cockatoos like to dance to music or not.

Cockatoos like to dance to music. They show immense joy while dancing to music beats. They bob their head, lift their feet, do shimmies, roll their body, and move their crest and wings along with the music. They can also make 14 diverse dance moves gracefully. 

Recently Snowball, a sulfur-crested Cockatoo burst the internet by showing some dance moves along with music beats. The spontaneous dance moves the bird make people believe that not only humans but birds can also do creative dance moves elegantly. 


Cockatoos are fun loving, creative and intelligent bird species. They are very affectionate with their owners. They love to mimic humans and get their attention on them. They are music lovers, and also love to dance to the music beats.

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