Moluccan Cockatoo

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Moluccan Cockatoo

21 inches
70 years
Bird Species
White, salmon pink
Vocal, mimicking, talkative
Highly Social, Playful, Intelligent, Curious, Affectionate
Comparable Breeds
African Grey Parrot, Goffin's Cockatoo
Moluccan Cockatoo General Info

As the largest of all the parrots in this family, the Moluccan, or the Salmon Crested Cockatoo, is one of the most intelligent, curious pet parrots you can get. These long-lived parrots will become a companion for a lifetime, but they might take some patience to get used to at first, with all their shenanigans, the loud talking, and their endless curiosity. Patience will pay off though, as Moluccan Cockatoo is a loving, cuddly, and fun.

You will quickly fall in love with all the goofy, hilarious mimics and tricks that are the specialty of the Moluccan Cockatoo.

Native Region/Natural Habitat

These large and graceful cockatoos are native to the tropical forests of a single archipelago in the east of Indonesia – the Seram. The Seram Island is a unique “parrot haven,” with over 117 species of birds living there, many of which are parrots exclusive to the island. Unfortunately, the Moluccan cockatoo is now a vulnerable species, and laws are established to prevent the hunting and trapping of these unique and beautiful parrots.

Overall Description

With an average length of around 21 inches (52 centimeters), and weighing up to 1.9 pounds (850 grams), these are the largest cockatoos in their family, and some of the largest parrots around. Perhaps their most distinguishing feature is a unique feather crest, which they spread above their heads in a splendid display of excitement. Males and females will bond for a lifetime, creating a deep and important connection with their chosen mate.

Speech and Sounds

Moluccan Cockatoos are some of the chattiest parrots you’ll ever meet. While they are average talkers, learning a few simple words to repeat, they are best known for their mimics. In an attempt to mimic human speech, these parrots will go on and on with their comical representation of ordinary conversations. The result is a hilarious, goofy mumbling with a couple of discernible words thrown in. Even though Moluccan Cockatoo can be noisy at times, they usually get away with it- it’s hard to resist their adorable silliness!


The graceful and elegant look of the Moluccan Cockatoo will impress anyone. They are entirely white, with a subtle rosy tone which leans heavily to a light pink color. The underwings are a light yellow color, and their unique crests are hiding a patch of vibrantly colored pink feathers. This soothing combination of colors makes the Moluccan Cockatoo nothing short of a beautiful, one-of-a-kind bird.

The subtle combination of white and pink gives these cockatoos a look of grace and elegance- a complete opposite of their silly personality.

Care and Feeding

A commercial cockatoo seed mix will do a great job resembling their diet in the wild – providing the nutrients they get from seeds, nuts, insects, and berries. To balance it out and achieve a healthy diet, you’ll want to add some fresh fruits, vegetables and things like coconut or cooked foods. Good hygiene and regular baths are a must, and these playful birds will absolutely love them. They will help prevent skin and feathers from drying out and causing health troubles.

Health and Common Conditions

With an incredible lifespan of up to 70 years, you’ll be looking at a companion for life. With the proper care and attention, they will live happily and without many sicknesses, thanks to their hardy and strong nature. The main thing to note is their great need for exercise. They are large, playful and full of energy, so they should spend most of the day around the house. Making certain they get enough exercise will ensure good health and prevent boredom and apathy.

With enough patience, you can develop a lifelong friendship with your Moluccan Cockatoo pet.

Personality & Behavior

There are so many personality traits that you will get to know as you spend time with your pet cockatoo. With enough patience and understanding, you’ll get to love their silly antics, the inquisitive nature, and their funny little conversations. It’s best to consider them a house parrot, since they can sometimes be noisy and not suited for the apartment.

Besides their playful nature, Moluccan Cockatoos are really affectionate and will create a bond with their owner. They love following you around the house, cuddling or pretending to have a conversation. All the goofiness of these cockatoos is hard to resist, and you will certainly fall in love with this charming bird.

Photo credit: Imran Ashraf/Shutterstock; 236days/Shutterstock; Nicky Rhodes/Shutterstock

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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