Goffin’s Cockatoo

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Goffin’s Cockatoo

12 inches
up to 40 years
Bird Species
Vocal, Noisy
Social, Energetic, Affectionate, Spoiled
Comparable Breeds
Moluccan Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot
Goffin’s Cockatoo General Info

Cockatoos are often considered the real show-off’s and clowns in the parrot world and the Goffin’s Cockatoo is one of the best when it comes to tricks and antics. They are also one of the smallest in the cockatoo family, which makes them even more energetic. Luckily, with a bit of patience and familiarizing you’ll see that these parrots are generally friendly and sociable and you will quickly get to love your little Goffin and all the fun it brings to the house.

Goffin’s cockatoo is one of the smallest in its family, and one of the funniest and most energetic ones as well.

Native Region/Natural Habitat

The Maluku islands cover a vast territory and are full of wonderful and unique parrots. In the south of these islands lies the Tanimbar archipelago, the natural home of the Goffin’s Cockatoo- hence their other common name, Tanimbar corella. Here they inhabit the tropical, forested regions, gathering in small flocks. These cockatoos suffered much in the wild, and are now a near threatened breed. As an outcome of heavy logging and subsequent illegal capture that swept these islands, there are far more Goffin’s in captivity than there are in the wild.

Overall Description

Considered one of the smaller cockatoos, they reach an average size of 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length and a weight of 11 ounces (300 grams). They have a more rounded, chubbier look than their cousins, but are generally similar. Like all the members of this family, they too share the one distinguishing, unique trait – their crest. When scared, happy or otherwise roused, they will fan out their graceful plume of feathers on the top of the head. These lovely birds can live to be 40 years old, so make sure to have that in mind if you want a Goffin’s cockatoo as a pet.

Speech and Sounds

There are some facts you should always keep in mind when getting a cockatoo pet. One of these is the level of noise. These parrots are quite vocal and love to express their mood with loud, high pitched caws and screeches. They also like to imitate human speech in an equally loud and often incomprehensible mumble. The level of noise goes down if your pet is entertained, satisfied and gets enough of attention. However, this trait makes them not so suitable to be an apartment-kept parrot.


Goffin’s cockatoos are almost completely mono colored, but nevertheless cute and beautiful parrots. They are entirely white, with black feet and a gray beak. A small spot between the eye and the beak is colored in bright pink, which serves as a distinct marking. There is also a slight yellow tone on the underside of the tail and wings. Despite the lack of exotic patterns and striking colors, this cockatoo is equally pretty and captivates with its graceful, gentle look.

With its gentle and elegant look, the Goffin’s cockatoo offers a welcome change from all the exotic and brightly colored parrots.

Care and Feeding

A varied natural diet that consists of different fruits, seeds, nuts and palm flowers, is closely resembled in the standard commercial seed mixes designed for cockatoos. This should be supplemented with a regular addition of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, cabbage, apples, oranges, and bananas. As these cockatoos are avid chewers, a cuttlebone is a smart choice – it helps keep the beak trimmed, and serves as an important dose of calcium and other vitamins.

Health and Common Conditions

When first bred in captivity, the Goffin’s Cockatoo endurance and ability to adapt were praised. They are generally very healthy and hardy birds. The biggest threats are some of those common dangers to all parrots – cold temperatures, drafts, toxic fumes, excessive heat and lack of ventilation. This, as well as good hygiene and diet, should always be under control.

As the Goffin’s Cockatoo is quite energetic, inquisitive and intelligent, a lot of room is imperative. Allow them to fly freely around the home during the at day, and for night time they should have a large, spacious cage.

These cockatoos should have a lot of free room. Their size and inquisitive personality should be taken into account.

Personality & Behavior

High intelligence as well as an affectionate -but often spoiled- personality are the main traits of Goffin’s cockatoos. They can often act like drama queens (and kings) showing you loud and clear that things are not as they want them to be. They also tend to bond deeply to a single person in the home and then act grumpy and territorial towards other family members. These traits are generally evened out with their sociable and loving side, and the endless fun and goofy antics. Without a doubt, the Goffin’s cockatoo can become a funny and loving addition to every family.

Photo credit: Denise Campbell/BigStock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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