Salmon-crested cockatoo

This cockatoo loves coconut and works hard to get through the hard outer layer of this fruit

Len Charnoff

Salmon-crested cockatoo


This cockatoo loves coconut and works hard to get through the hard outer layer of this fruit

Population 100,000
20 – 40% decline in one region during the 1990s

The Salmon-crested cockatoo, also known as the Moluccan cockatoo, is a stunning bird species native to the islands of Indonesia. Its striking appearance, characterized by its white plumage and vibrant salmon or flamingo-colored crest, makes it a sought-after species among aviculturists and bird enthusiasts.

One of the most distinctive features of the Salmon-crested cockatoo is its retractable crest. Like many other cockatoos, it can raise and lower its crest at will, using it as a form of communication. The crest is often raised when the bird is excited or alarmed, serving as a visual display of its emotions. This behavior adds to the bird’s charm and appeal.

In addition to its striking appearance, the Salmon-crested cockatoo is known for its loud and raucous calls. Among parrot communities, it holds the title for the loudest vocalizations, with its calls echoing through the forests where it resides. These vocalizations serve various purposes, including communication with other birds, establishing territory, and signaling danger.

Despite their noisy tendencies, Salmon-crested cockatoos are relatively social birds, forming small flocks outside of the breeding season. However, they are not particularly fond of large crowds and prefer smaller groups for socializing and roosting. During the non-breeding season, it is not uncommon to spot groups of around 16 birds roosting together in trees.

Like many other cockatoo species, Salmon-crested cockatoos nest in tree hollows, where they lay clutches of 1 to 3 eggs. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks once they hatch. However, one of the leading health concerns for these birds is their low-protein diet, which can lead to anemia if not properly supplemented.

In their natural habitat, Salmon-crested cockatoos primarily feed on a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetation. However, in captivity, it is essential to provide them with a well-rounded diet that includes sufficient protein to ensure their health and well-being.


Population est.
Official estimate

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No