Parrots | Sulphur-crested Cockatoo > crests for show | left-handed and foraging |

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is a noisy distinctive white parrot with its sulphur-yellow crest and light pale yellow on the underside of the wings. They have a dark grey-black bill.

The sexes are similar, except the female has slightly lighter red-brown eyes and the male cockatoo have darker brown eyes. From a distance, their eyes look black. The young Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are similar to the adults.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoos range extends in the north and east mainland, down to Tasmania. A population has also established in the Perth region of Western Australia. They also occur in New Guinea and the Aru Islands, having also been introduced into New Zealand and Indonesia. They are found in a variety of habitats (usually timbered areas), including suburban parks around major cities and towns, such as the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney NSW.

The diet of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo’s consists of seeds, nuts, berries and roots. They normally forage in small to large groups, with some members of the group perched nearby, watching for danger. When not feeding, birds will bite off smaller branches and leaves from trees. These items are not eaten, however. The activity may help to keep the bill trimmed and from growing too large.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Cacatuidae
  • Genus: Cacatua
  • Subgenus: Cacatua
  • Species: C. galerita
  • Binomial name: Cacatua galerita

Footnote & References

  1. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian Museum,
  2. Sulphur-crested cockatoos can be noisy and destructive, but they’re also very clever. Here are some facts you may not know, by Anna Salleh, 18 October 2020, ABC News Science,