Cockatoos, often referred to as the clowns of the parrot world, are a group of charismatic and intelligent birds known for their striking appearance and engaging personalities. These birds are beloved as pets and cherished for their affectionate nature and entertaining antics. Let us delve into the different species of cockatoos, their lifespans and clarify the distinction between cockatiels and cockatoos.


Cockatoos belong to the Cacatuidae family and are native to Australia, Indonesia and surrounding regions. There are approximately 21 recognised species, each with its unique characteristics. Below are a few of the most notable among all cockatoo species.
  • Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita): One of the most iconic and recognisable cockatoo species, the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is known for its striking white plumage and a distinctive bright yellow crest. They are highly intelligent and can be excellent talkers.
  • Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua Moluccensis): These birds are native to the Moluccan Islands of Indonesia. Moluccan Cockatoo are characterised by their salmon-pink plumage and large size. They are known for their affectionate nature but require extensive socialisation and attention.
  • Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua Alba): These cockatoos have white plumage with a broad crest that opens like an umbrella when they are excited. They are affectionate and can be great companions.
  • Goffin's Cockatoo (Cacatua Goffiniana): These smaller cockatoos hail from the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia. They are known for their playful and curious personalities. Goffin's Cockatoos are quick learners and enjoy solving puzzles.
  • Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophochroa Leadbeateri): Also known as the pink cockatoo, they are characterised by their soft pink and white plumage. Major Mitchell's Cockatoos are known for their regal appearance and can be more reserved than some other species.


Cockatoos are long-lived birds, which is an important reason for anyone considering them as pets. On average, cockatoos can live anywhere from 40 to 80 years, depending on the species and the care they receive. Proper diet, mental stimulation and social interaction are crucial factors in ensuring the longevity of your pet.

Cockatiel vs Cockatoo

While the names may be similar, cockatoos and cockatiels are two distinct species with several differences:
  • Size: Cockatoos are generally larger than cockatiels. Cockatoos can range from 12 inches to 27 inches in length, while cockatiels typically measure around 12 to 13 inches.
  • Crest: Many cockatoos, such as the Sulphur-Crested and Umbrella Cockatoos, have large, showy crests on their heads that they can raise and lower. Cockatiels have smaller crests that they usually keep partially raised.
  • Colouration: Cockatoos often have predominantly white plumage with striking colour accents. Cockatiels have a more subdued colour palette, with grey bodies and distinctive orange cheek patches.
  • Behaviour: Cockatoos are known for their boisterous, attention-seeking and affectionate behaviour. They often form strong bonds with their owners and require a significant amount of social interaction and mental stimulation. Cockatiels are generally more independent and can be content with less direct interaction.
  • Vocalisation: Cockatoos are known for their loud calls and vocalisations, while cockatiels are generally quieter and produce melodious whistles and chirps.

If you want to check out these birds before you make up your mind about having them as pets, why not check them out at Bird Park by EsselWorld in Mumbai. Bird Park is a treasure tower of many species of birds, and this place will let you have a tête-à-tête with these majestic species. Take a tour and know the numerous species of birds up close. Book now!