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Umbrella | Moluccan | Goffin | Major Mitchell's | African Grey | Amazon | Blue and Gold | Scarlet | Galah | Greater Sulphur-crested | Eleonora

Umbrella Cockatoo

The Umbrella Cockatoo, Cacatua alba (also known as the White Cockatoo) is a medium-sized, up to 46 cm long cockatoo endemic to the islands of Halmahera, Bacan, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta and Mandiole in North Maluku, Indonesia. At first sight it appears to be a white parrot with brown or black eyes and a dark grey beak. If it is surprised, it extends a large and striking crest, which has a semicircular shape (similar to an umbrella, hence the name). The crest is normally recumbent. The underside of the wings and tail have pale yellow or lemon colour, which flash when they fly.

The Umbrella Cockatoo can live up to, and perhaps beyond, 80 years in age. They are very social, needing a lot of interaction. They can be very loud and their calls (a very loud screeching noise) can be heard up to three miles away.

The Umbrella Cockatoo weighs about 600 g (based on weights of two male pet birds aged about 1 and 3 years).

The feathers of the Umbrella Cockatoo are mostly white. However, both upper and lower surfaces of the inner half of the trailing edge of the large wing feathers are a yellow colour. The yellow colour is most notable on the underside of the wings because the yellow portion of the upper surface of the feather is covered by the white of the feather immediately medial (nearer to the body) and above. Similarly, areas of larger tail feathers that are covered by other tail feathers, and the innermost covered areas of the larger crest feathers, are yellow. Short white feathers grow from and closely cover the upper legs.

Although the Umbrella Cockatoo is not classified as an endangered species, it is classified as vulnerable. Its number in the wild have declined owing to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade. It is listed in appendix II of the CITES list of protected species. This gives it protection by making the export, import and trade of wild-caught birds illegal.


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Moluccan Cockatoo

The Moluccan Cockatoo, Cacatua moluccensis also known as Salmon-crested Cockatoo is a cockatoo endemic to south Moluccas in eastern Indonesia. At 50 cm, it is the largest of the white cockatoos. The female is larger than the males on average. It has white-pink feathers with a definite peachy glow, a slight yellow on the underwing and a large retractable recumbent crest which it raises when threatened to frighten potential attackers. It also has a loud voice and in captivity is a capable mimic.

In the wild the Moluccan Cockatoo inhabits lowland forests below 1000m. The diet consists mainly of seeds, nuts and fruit, as well as coconuts.

The Moluccan Cockatoo is an endangered species, and has been listed on appendix I of CITES since 1989, which makes trade in wild-caught birds illegal. Trade in captive bred birds is legal only with appropriate CITES certification. Numbers have declined due to illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade and habitat loss. During the height of the trapping of this species over 6,000 birds were being removed from the wild per year. It has a stronghold in Manusela National Park on Seram, although even today some illegal trapping continues. The Moluccan Cockatoo can no longer be imported into the United States because of its being listed on the Wild Bird Conservation Act. However they are being bred in captivity. The potential owner should be aware of the bird's needs, and know how loud these birds can be.



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Goffin's Cockatoo

The Goffin's Cockatoo, Cacatua goffiniana also known as Tanimbar Cockatoo is a species of cockatoo native and endemic to forests of Banda Sea islands in Indonesia. They weigh, on average, about 350 grams and are about 31 centimeters from head to tail. The Goffin's Cockatoos are the smallest of all Cacatuinae. At first sight it appears to be a white cockatoo with some salmon or pink face feathers, and a pale grey beak. Both sexes are similar.

Like all members of the Cacatuidae, the Goffin's Cockatoo is crested, meaning it has a collection of feathers on its head that it can raise or lower. Its body is mainly covered with white feathers, with salmon or pink colored feathers between the beak and eyes. The deeper (proximal) parts of the crest feathers and neck feathers are also a salmon colour, but the coloration here is hidden by the white colour of the more superficial (distal) areas of these feathers. The underside of its wing and tail feathers exhibit a yellowish tinge. The eyes range from brown to black. They are often confused for the Little Corella due to their similar appearance.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range and illegal hunting, the Goffin's Cockatoo is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


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Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophocroa leadbeateri), also known as Leadbeater's Cockatoo or Pink Cockatoo, is a medium-sized cockatoo restricted to arid and semi-arid inland areas of Australia. It was usually placed in the genus Cacatua in recent times, but all available evidence suggests that placement of this species in a monotypic genus, Lophocroa is advocated (Brown & Toft, 1999). With its soft-textured white and salmon-pink plumage and large, bright red and yellow crest, it is generally recognized as the most beautiful of all cockatoos. It is named in honor of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, who wrote "Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-colored wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region".

Unlike the Galah, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo has declined rather than increased as a result of man-made changes to the arid interior of Australia. Where Galahs readily occupy cleared and part-cleared land, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo requires extensive woodlands, particularly favoring Callitris, Allocasuarina and Eucalyptus. In contrast to other cockatoos, Major Mitchell pairs will not nest close to one another; in consequence, they cannot tolerate fragmented, partly-cleared habitats, and their range is contracting.


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Congo African Grey

The African Grey Parrot is a medium-sized parrot of the genus Psittacus, native to Africa and is considered one of the most intelligent birds. As the name implies, they are predominantly grey, with accents of white. Some of their feathers are very dark grey and others are a lighter grey colour. They have red or maroon tails depending on the subspecies. They feed primarily on nuts and fruits, supplemented by leafy matter.

The Congo African Grey parrots, Psittacus erithacus erithacus are larger birds (about 12 inches/30cm long) with light grey feathers, cherry red tails and black beaks.

African grey parrots are particularly noted for their cognitive abilities, which are believed to have evolved as a consequence of their history of cooperative feeding on the ground in central Africa. These parrots are capable of associating human words with their meanings, at least to some extent. Although there exists a great deal of debate as to just how well these birds actually understand the meaning of the words they speak, there is little doubt that Greys and other parrots (especially macaws and cockatoos), along with corvines (Crows, Ravens, and Jays), are highly intelligent in comparison with other birds.


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Double Yellow Headed Amazon

The Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix), also known as the Double Yellow-headed Amazon, etc., is an endangered amazon parrot of tropical America. It is a popular pet and an excellent talker.

The Yellow-headed Parrot averages 38–43 cm (15–17 in) long. The shape is typical of amazons, with a robust build, rounded wings, and a square tail. The body is bright green, with yellow on the head, dark scallops on the neck, red at the bend of the wing, and yellow thighs. The flight feathers are blackish to bluish violet with a red patch on the outer secondaries. The base of the tail also has a red patch, which is usually hidden. The outer tail feathers have yellowish tips.

The bill is horn-colored, darker in immatures of the Belizean and Honduran subspecies. The eye ring is whitish in Mexican birds and grayish in others. The most conspicuous geographical difference is the amount of yellow. In adults, the head and upper chest are yellow in the subspecies of the Tres Marías Islands in the Mexican state of Nayarit (tresmariae); just the head in the widespread subspecies of Mexico (oratrix); just the crown in Belize, Guatemala, and far northwestern Honduras (belizensis); and the crown and nape in the Sula Valley of Honduras (hondurensis, which thus resembles the Yellow-naped Parrot). Immatures have less yellow than adults; they attain adult plumage in 2 to 4 years.

The Yellow-headed Parrot is on the CITES list Appendix I, which by international treaty, has made export, import and trade of wild-caught Yellow-headed Parrots illegal and the trade in birds bred in aviculture subject to controls in most of the world. Captive-bred Yellow-headed Parrots can be sold and owned legally subject to checks and regulations. Generally, throughout the world, sale of Appendix I species bred in aviculture must be accompanied with official certification which is provided by the breeder, and they must have a closed ring on one leg.


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Blue and Gold Macaw

The Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna), also known as Blue-and-gold Macaw, is a member of the macaw group of parrots which breeds in the swampy forests of tropical South America from Panama south to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It is probably now extinct on Trinidad.

They can reach 76-86 cm long and weigh 900 to 1300 g and are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, golden (some might say, "butterscotch") underparts and a green cap on the head. Their beaks are jet black and very strong for crushing nuts.

They require much more effort and knowledge from owners than more traditional pets such as dogs or cats. They are intelligent and loving, so for someone who can provide for their needs, they make good companion animals. Blue and Yellows are know to their owners as more of a "one person" bird, and bond very closely to their owners.




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Even the most well cared for Blue-and-Gold Macaw will "scream" and make other loud noises, nonetheless, it is possible to make them silent. Loud vocalizations, especially "flock calls", and destructive chewing are natural parts of their behavior and should be expected in captivity. To some extent you can redirect chewing to toys, but a macaw left alone, uncaged in a room will likely redecorate. By providing a number of toys in cage, one can minimize the destructive chewing as the bird will focus chewing on those appropriate objects.

They require a varied diet, a seed only diet will lead to health problems such as vitamin deficiency. An example of a good diet would be a quality pelleted mix, in conjunction with a mix featuring seed, nuts, and dried fruits, with fresh vegetables and fruits fed regularly; furthermore, it is quite common (and appreciated by the parrot) to partake with their human owners of safe foods like pasta, bread, etc. It is important to avoid foods with high fat content (generally) while striving to provide a wide variety of foods.

Scarlet Macaw

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large, colorful parrot.

It is native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics, from extreme eastern Mexico locally to Amazonian Peru and Brazil, in lowlands up to 500 meters (at least formerly up to 1000m). It has been widely extirpated by habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade. Formerly it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. It can still be found on the island of Coiba. It is also the Honduran national bird.

It is about 81 to 96 cm (32 to 36 inches) long, of which more than half is the pointed, graduated tail typical of macaws. Average weight is about a kilogram (2 to 2.5 pounds). The plumage is mostly scarlet, but the rump and tail-covert feathers are light blue, the greater upperwing coverts are yellow, the upper sides of the flight feathers of the wings are dark blue as are the ends of the tail feathers, and the undersides of the wing and tail flight feathers are dark red with metallic gold iridescence. There is bare white skin around the eye and from there to the bill. The upper mandible is mostly pale horn in color and the lower is black. Sexes are alike; the only difference between ages is that young birds have dark eyes, and adults have light yellow eyes.

Wild Scarlet Macaws eat mostly fruits and seeds, including large, hard seeds. A typical sighting is of a single bird or a pair flying above the forest canopy, though in some areas flocks can be seen. They may gather at clay licks.



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Galah Cockatoo

The Galah, Eolophus roseicapillus, is also known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo or Galah Cockatoo. It is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia. It is endemic in Australia and Tasmania, where its distinctive pink and grey plumage and its bold and loud behaviour make it a familiar sight in The Bush and increasingly in urban areas.

It appears to have benefited from the change in the landscape since European colonization and may be replacing the rare Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in parts of its range.

Galahs have a pale grey to mid-grey back, a pink face and chest, and a light pink crest. The sexes appear similar, however generally adult birds differ in eye colour; the male has a very dark brown (almost black) iris, and the female has a mid-brown/red iris. Typical birds are about 350mm long and weigh between 300 and 400 grams.



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Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

The Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua galerita, is one of the larger and more widespread of Australia's cockatoos.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is similar in appearance to the three species of corella found in Australia. Corellas are smaller, however, and lack the prominent yellow crest. There are a few regional subspecies within Australia.

Typically these birds will weigh around 800 grams. In most cases, male birds can be distinguished from Females with their almost black eyes, whereas the female has a more red/brown coloured eye. Their distinctive raucous call can be very loud; it is meant to travel through the forest environments in which they live, including tropical and subtropical rainforests. These birds are naturally curious creatures, as well as very intelligent. They have adapted very well to European settlement in Australia and live in many urban areas.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos may no longer be imported into the United States as a result of the Wild Bird Conservation Act. However, they have been bred in captivity. The potential owner should be aware of the bird's needs, as well as how loud these birds can be and their natural desire to chew.

The oldest captive sulphur-crested cockatoo in the world was Cocky, who was at least 82 years old, when he died in the London Zoo in 1982.



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Eleonora's Cockatoo

The Eleonora's Cockatoo, (cacatua galerita eleanora) is a subspecies of the Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Mistakenly referred to as the Medium Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, this is actually the smallest of the Greater Sulphur-cresteds, at about 15 inches. The body is white with a bright yellow crest and very light blue eye ring. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are yellow. Eleonoras have average talking ability for Cockatoos, but are always very active and love to play not only with their toys and their owners, but also with other birds.

Eleonora's cockatoos, medium sulfurs are one of the most affectionate and loving of all parrots. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, they seem to enjoy taking things apart to "see how they work." They require a lot of attention and play time.

The Eleonora Cockatoo is native to Indonesia and the Aru Islands. It is also seen in the Kai Islands, but it is theorized that they are not native to this region, and were instead introduced. Though they are often seen in areas inhabited by humans, the Eleonora Cockatoo is most commonly seen in open woodlands, forests, and semi-arid forested areas, as well as partially cleared forests. They are not uncommon in the wild, though populations have decreased because of habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping for use in the pet trade.


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