Moluccan Cockatoo

Moluccan Cockatoo Species Overview

The Moluccan Cockatoo, also known as the Salmon-crested Cockatoo, is a species of parrot endemic to the rainforests of the Moluccas Islands, Indonesia. These birds are medium to large in size, with a length of around 50 centimeters (20 inches) from the beak to the tip of the tail and a wingspan of up to 90 centimeters (35 inches).

General Characteristics

Moluccan Cockatoos have a distinctive salmon-pink colored crest of feathers on their heads, giving them their alternative name. Their plumage is mostly white, with a light yellow or pale orange tint under their wings and tails. They have a large, powerful beak that helps them crack open nuts and seeds, and their tongue is adapted to help extract the kernel from the shell. These birds also have zygodactyl feet, which means that they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward, enabling them to hold onto branches more securely.

Favoured Environment

Moluccan Cockatoos prefer living in areas with high rainfall and dense tree cover, such as lowland and hill rainforests. They are social birds and usually form monogamous pairs with their mate for life. In the wild, they can be found in groups of up to 20 birds, feeding on seeds, nuts, and fruits. They also use their strong beaks to dig up roots and bulbs from the forest floor.

Behaviour in Captivity

Moluccan Cockatoos are popular as pets because of their affectionate and playful nature. They are intelligent birds and can be trained to perform tricks and even speak a few words. However, they require a lot of attention and stimulation, as they are prone to boredom and destructive behavior if left alone for long periods. Owners should provide them with plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them entertained, as well as a large cage or aviary with perches of various sizes.

Conservation Status

The Moluccan Cockatoo is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss and poaching for the illegal pet trade. The destruction of the rainforests for logging, agriculture, and mining has led to a decline in the population of this species, as they rely on the forest for their food, nesting, and roosting sites. It is crucial that conservation efforts be made to protect the remaining forested areas and prevent further habitat destruction.


In summary, the Moluccan Cockatoo is a unique and stunning bird with a distinctive crest of pink feathers, a powerful beak, and zygodactyl feet. They are social creatures that prefer to live in dense rainforests and form monogamous pairs. As pets, they require a lot of attention and stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive behavior. However, their popularity as pets has led to illegal poaching and a decline in their population. It is vital that effective conservation measures be taken to protect this beautiful species from further harm.