The cockatoo (of the family Cacatuidae) is one of the most well-known birds in the parrot family because it’s quite noisy; in fact, it’s the loudest of all the parrots. Their loudness comes from a history of having to communicate long distances with one another in dark, thick forests. Cockatoos are found in Australia and some surrounding islands, mainly in forested areas. These birds form flocks, with sometimes up to three different types of cockatoos, to feed together on berries, nuts and seeds. Most cockatoos even stay in the same flock they were raised in and often mate in long-lasting pairs.
Like all parrots, cockatoos are zygodactyl, which means they can use their feet to grasp objects, making them excellent climbers. Although parrots are often colorful, most cockatoos are actually black and white because they lack a certain texture in their feathers that reflects light. In the 1970s, many cockatoos were trapped for the pet trade and their numbers in the wild have decreased dramatically. In fact, some Indonesian cockatoos are now thought to be extinct in the wild.
Fun Cockatoo Facts
- Cockatoos can live for 40 to 60 years and sometimes longer. They have been known to live over 100 years in the zoo.
- The Palm cockatoo’s beak is so strong that it can crack Brazil nuts with it.
San Diego Zoo
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