December 30, 2018 PetGuide
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Gang Gang Cockatoo

  • Size: 14 inches
  • Lifespan: 60+ years
  • Bird Species: Cockatoo
  • Colors: Grey
  • Sounds: Vocal, Natural calls, Moderately Noisy, Chatterer, Mimics
  • Interaction: Social, Intelligent, Silly, Clown, Playful, Affectionate
  • Comparable Breeds: Quaker Parakeet, Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

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Get ready to meet one of the biggest clowns in the world of pet parrots – the Gang Gang Cockatoo. These lively, smart and goofy parrots are incredible charmers and bring a lot of fun wherever they are. With their tricks, silly dances, and a spirited personality, the Gang Gangs are definitely a perfect choice for those who like fun and entertaining pets. And, in addition to their lovable temperament, these cockatoos also have unique and cute looks that are easy to recognize and hard to resist.  

The word Gang Gang comes from the Aborigines of New South Wales. It is the only name for these cockatoos.

These cockatoos are found in a very small coastal strip, in the southeast of Australia, in New South Wales. They thrive in tall open forests and in the regional highlands and foothills. In winters they prefer the open woodland, river basins, scrub, farmland and suburban areas. They are often found in altitudes of up to 2000 meters. Even though their habitat is small, the Gang Gang cockatoos became an iconic sight. They are also the faunal emblem of the Australian Capital territory, a loved and cherished symbol of New South Wales.

Unlike most members of their family, the Gang Gang Cockatoo has a striking and unusual appearance. Their distinct features put them far apart from other common cockatoo breeds. They are also considerably smaller and their iconic crest is much puffier than the usual one in bigger cockatoos. The adults reach an average length of 14 inches (35 centimeters) and can weigh around 12 ounces (330 grams). The males and females have one major difference, color related, and are easily distinguished.

Most of us know cockatoos as raucous, loud and talkative. While Gang Gang Cockatoo shares some of these traits, they are not as intense. Their natural calls are unique in aviculture and sound similar to creaking doors. They can also learn to mimic some basic sound and repeat short phrases, usually their name. Gang Gangs are also very receptive to vocal stimulation, enjoying every moment of attention they can get.

When it comes to colors, the Gang Gang Cockatoo really stands out in the mostly white cockatoo family. Although they only have a mix of two colors, their appearance is so unique and charming, that it became a recognizable sight. The body is almost entirely light, mellow gray, it is also streaked with lighter, nearly white spots, creating a scalloped pattern. The males have a bright red head and crest, which gives them a nickname – Red Crowned Cockatoo. The females are different as they don’t have any red on their head. Theirs is light grey. This simple, but contrasting appearance is elegant, beautiful while also a little funny – which all contributes to the overall charm of the Gang Gang Cockatoo.

The contrasting color of feathers on their heads and bodies makes these birds look quite charming.

To successfully achieve a  balanced and healthy diet, start with a commercial seed and pellet mixes for cockatoos. To perfect this, add a good amount of fresh fruits, berries, and green vegetables, and occasionally cooked foods, like rice, chicken, and corn. These birds are also avid bathers.  Don’t forget to provide them with regular showers as they will help them keep their feathers clean and stay healthy. Besides social interaction and exercise, hygiene is an important aspect of good care.

These cockatoos have a lot of energy they will need to spend productively. This also means they’ll need a lot of space to do so! Having plenty of room is particularly important for robust birds like the Gang Gang Cockatoo, as it will help to prevent obesity or apathy.  The best choice is to allow them free flight around the bird-proofed parts of the house and reserve the cage for time-outs and sleeping.

With good care and optimal living conditions, your Gang Gang Cockatoo pet can live for more than sixty years. Their impressive longevity makes them ideal lifetime companions.

Sixty years is a long time. Never forget that owning a cockatoo is a lifelong commitment.

Every day is a fun day with a Gang Gang Cockatoo! Even if you are not in the mood for silly antics, they always are. You’ll often hear them mumbling and whispering something by themselves, playing with their toys. New tricks are also an everyday occurrence, whether it’s a simple dance, a new expression or maybe a word to repeat – the surprises are always there. Gang Gang Cockatoo will also have an affectionate side to their personality and will love getting head scratches and snuggles. One thing’s for sure- sharing your life with these unique birds is definitely going to be a joy!

Photo credit: K.A.Willis/Shutterstock; imagevixen/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to Quaker Parakeet

Quaker Parakeet

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years
  • Bird Species: Parakeets
  • Colors: Green, grey & blue details
  • Sounds: Mimicking, Talker
  • Interaction: Social, Affectionate, Calm, Playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Budgerigar Parakeet, Bourke’s Parakeet
Go to Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

  • Size: 24 inches
  • Lifespan: 50-100 years
  • Bird Species: Cockatoo
  • Colors: Black
  • Sounds: Quiet, Natural Calls, Mimics
  • Interaction: Social, Friendly, Calm, Fun, Intelligent, Inquisitive
  • Comparable Breeds: Palm Cockatoo, Hyacinth Macaw