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White Cockatoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by martinuk
Foli, Halmahera, Maluku Utara, Indonesia, October 2009

Alternative name: Umbrella Cockatoo; White-crested Cockatoo

Cacatua alba


46cm. Barring escapes, the only cockatoo in range and hence unmistakeable in its native range.

  • body white
  • eyes black or brown
  • beak dark grey
  • crest semi-circular, large, white and striking (normally recumbent)
  • underside of wings and tail pale lemon

Males have black and females brown eyes. Juveniles are similar to males.


Found on Halmahera, Bacan, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta and Mandioli in the northern Moluccas, Indonesia. An introduced population exists in Hawaii.
Used to be common but the populations have been much reduced due to habitat loss and trapping. Classified as vulnerable.


Has been regarded as conspecific with Salmon-crested Cockatoo.


Mangroves, plantations (including coconut), agricultural land and forests.


Feeds on seeds and fruits. May also take some insects.
They make their nests in tree cavities. 2 white eggs are laid and are incubated by both parents for about 28 days. The larger chick becomes dominant over the smaller chick and takes more of the food. The young fledge about 84 days after hatching.
Resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221

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