Cockatoo Species Overview: Length, Width, and General Characteristics with Favoured Environment

Cockatoos are birds of the parrot family, known for their affectionate and intelligent personalities, and their loud and raucous calls. There are 21 species of cockatoos, varying in size, colour, and geographic location.

Size and Characteristics

Cockatoos range in size from small to large, with the smallest species being the cockatiel, which is around 30 cm long, and the largest species being the palm cockatoo, which can reach up to 60 cm in length. These birds have distinctive crests on their heads, which they can raise or lower as a form of communication, and strong beaks that they use to crack open nuts and seeds. Cockatoos have zygodactyl feet, meaning they have two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward, which helps them climb and perch on branches.

Colour and Appearance

Cockatoos come in a range of colours, including white, grey, black, pink, and yellow, with some species having a combination of colours. The sulphur-crested cockatoo, for example, has white feathers and a yellow crest, while the rose-breasted cockatoo has pink feathers and a white crest. Many species of cockatoos have a vibrant and colourful plumage, with distinctive patterns and markings.

Environment and Habitat

Cockatoos are found in a variety of habitats, depending on the species, including forests, woodlands, savannas, and grasslands, with some species living in semi-arid or desert regions. The palm cockatoo, for example, lives in the rainforests of New Guinea and northern Australia, while the yellow-tailed black cockatoo lives in the forests of eastern Australia. Cockatoos are generally found in regions with a warm climate, where food sources are abundant.

Behaviour and Personality

Cockatoos are social birds, living in flocks of varying sizes, and they have a reputation for being affectionate and intelligent pets. They can live for several decades in captivity, and many species have been known to form strong bonds with their owners. However, they can also be loud and demanding birds, requiring a lot of attention and care.


Cockatoos are fascinating birds, with a range of sizes, colours, and personalities. They are known for their intelligence and social nature, and their striking appearance makes them a popular choice as pets. However, their demands and high level of care required mean that they are not suitable for everyone. It is important to research the species thoroughly before considering adding a cockatoo to your home. With the right care and attention, however, these birds can be loyal and loving companions for years to come.