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What is an Umbrella Cockatoo?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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An umbrella cockatoo is a type of cockatoo bird native to Indonesia. It is sometimes referred to as the white-crested cockatoo as well. These birds are very popular choices for pets and are generally very friendly and even-tempered. Most umbrella cockatoos are white on the outside and pale yellow beneath their tail and wings. They have a flat crest on top of their head that raises up to form an umbrella shape, which is why they are referred to as umbrella cockatoos.

The average umbrella cockatoo grows to a length of about 24 inches (61 cm). They are considered the largest type of cockatoo, and a person who keeps one for a pet will likely need a cage with lots of room. Even though they are generally friendly birds, they may become very aggressive and irritable without proper attention. This irritability often leads to problems such as loud screeching and feather chewing. A person who doesn't have time to give an umbrella cockatoo the attention it needs may be better off to find a more independent bird.

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In the wild, umbrella cockatoos normally prefer to live in the forest. It is also not uncommon to find them around swampy areas or open farmland. They may frequently be seen in the very tops of trees searching for food. In the wild, they eat lots of seeds, berries, and fruits. These things are also recommended for a pet umbrella cockatoo, and will help to properly balance out the diet when fed along with commercial pellets.

Umbrella cockatoos normally mate for life, and the umbrella crest on top of the head plays a big part in attracting a mate during breeding season. When umbrella cockatoos lay eggs, there are normally not more than two. Most of the time, they choose to nest inside tree hollows. During incubation, both the male and female umbrella cockatoo sit on the eggs. It takes roughly 30 days for the eggs to hatch. In most cases, the young will leave the nest when they are around three months old.

Most of these birds will live from 70 to 80 years when kept as pets, as long as they have been well taken care of. In the wild, they are considered a vulnerable species and have a much shorter life span. Things such as deforestation and the fact that people occasionally hunt them are causing their numbers to dwindle rapidly. An average estimate of the umbrella cockatoo population worldwide is about 200,000 or less.

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