Goffin's Cockatoo — Description, Care, and History

Goffin's Cockatoos

If you have the time to dedicate to it, a Goffin's cockatoo is the ideal companion parrot. This species is known for being pleasant, amusing, extroverted, and intellectual. These lovely white birds combine the greatest qualities of cockatoos in a smaller, more manageable size. Goffin cockatoos have the same temperament as their bigger cockatoo cousins but are smaller. They, too, like larger cockatoos, require several hours of mental and physical engagement.

Species Overview

Common Names: Goffin's cockatoo, Tanimbar corella

Scientific Name: Cacatua goffini

Adult Size: One of the smallest cockatoo species, between 12 and 13 inches long, about the same size as a

Life Expectancy: 30 to 40 years with proper care

Origin and History

The Goffin's cockatoo's native habitat is the Indonesian Tanimbar Islands. In the Maluku province, they may be found in the tropical woods of Larat, Selaru, and Yamdena. They can also be found in New Guinea.

This species is vulnerable in the wild due to habitat degradation and trapping for the pet trade; it is a protected species. A permit from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is required to keep one as a pet (CITES). The permit verifies that the bird was born in captivity and was not captured illegally.


Goffin's cockatoos are known for being gregarious and friendly. They are energetic, inquisitive, and lively birds. Although they are one of the smallest cockatoos, they have a large bird attitude and are highly social.

These birds are extremely bright, which leads to their mischievous and dangerous behavior. They can learn how to unlock the clasp on their cage after observing you for a few minutes. You might expect to be dealing with a devious escape artist.

When it comes to mechanics, a research investigation discovered that Goffin's had exceptional problem-solving abilities. Ten birds were put through their paces with various interlocking devices, and the majority of them solved the riddles after just one failed effort. Some birds needed human assistance, while others worked it out on their own.

Speech and Vocalizations

The Goffin's are relatively quiet when compared to other parrots. They will, however, scream if they demand your attention. These birds aren't the finest communicators, but with enough practice, they can learn to pronounce a few things. They have a tendency to imitate noises they hear. Turn up the music if you want to be entertained; they love to dance.

Goffin's Cockatoo Colors and Markings

The bare-eyed cockatoo is sometimes mistaken with the Goffin's cockatoo. It's primarily white, with a little salmon or pink tinge on each side of their beaks. When the bird fanned out his crest, the salmon color shows near to the head. A delicate yellow on the feathers under the wings may be seen, giving their flight a lovely sight.

The birds have a pale gray beak and feet. The only noticeable difference between the sexes is in the eyes. The iris of a male will be black, while a female has brown eyes.

Caring for a Goffin's Cockatoo

Goffin's cockatoos form close bonds with their owners and require regular connection in order to preserve their mental and emotional well-being. They are great for knowledgeable bird keepers.

Setting your limits early in your relationship with a new bird is critical. You'll want to strike a balance between paying too much attention and paying too little attention. This time balance will guarantee that the bird is highly socialized but yet capable of spending time alone when you're away.

Because they don't take up as much space as larger cockatoo species, the Goffin's cockatoo is a popular pet among individuals who don't have the space to keep one. The smallest cage is still rather large: 5 feet tall, 24 inches deep, and 36 inches wide. This species enjoys chewing and may easily ruin a cage, so select one that is sturdy (preferably wrought iron).

Common Health Problems

Neglected Cockatoos from Goffin's will not survive. If they do not receive the interaction they require, they will engage in harmful activities like as feather plucking or skin picking. Self-mutilating birds are susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal illnesses.

Psittacine beak and feather disease (a virus), as well as fatty liver disease and obesity, are all frequent ailments in cockatoos. If the bird consumes a high-fat diet and does not receive enough exercise, weight-related diseases might develop.

Diet and Nutrition

Seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, blooms, roots, leaf buds, and the occasional bug are eaten by this bird in the wild. They have learnt to feed off farmer's grain harvests while their original habitat is vanished.

All cockatoos, including Goffin's, are prone to excessive weight increase in captivity. Owners must keep an eye on fat consumption. 75 percent of their nourishment should come from a high-quality, designed pellet. Supplement with a broad variety of healthful raw vegetables, grains, greens, fruits, and nuts as needed (25 percent).

Daily, feed around 3/4 cup designed diet and 1/4 cup fresh fruits and vegetables. If the bird eats all of its food, supplement with little quantities as needed. Consider sprouting seeds as a healthy alternative to dried seeds as a special treat; dried seeds are heavy in fat.


Goffin's cockatoos are lively birds who require a lot of exercise to keep healthy. Owners should allow their birds to play and stretch their muscles for at least three to four hours each day outside of the cage. These birds gain freedom by spending time outside of their cages.

Training time outside the cage is ideal. Maintain consistency to keep your bird docile and used to living in your household. Get a play stand for out-of-cage time; it's an excellent addition. Birds will treat it as if it were their own personal gym, where they can play with toys, climb up and down, collect rewards, and eat food. Your bird will be entertained and stimulated by the toys and snacks.

Get interactive toys for your birds to guarantee they get the activity they require to be in good physical and mental shape. Give your bird tasks to solve, such as knots to untangle and objects to disassemble. Chew toys help these birds to exercise their natural instinct to bite. Make use of the bird's natural foraging instinct by concealing toys or sweets for it to locate.

  • Social, friendly, not as loud as other cockatoos

  • Can dance and learn to say a few words

  • Smaller cockatoo, does not need a cage as large as the bigger species

  • Can get loud and scream when it wants attention

  • Requires at least 3 to 4 hours of supervised out-of-cage time

  • So smart, it can escape its cage

Where to Adopt or Buy a Goffin's Cockatoo

Before purchasing a Goffin's cockatoo, speak with local to see if you may meet them and their birds. Expert keepers can assist you in determining whether these birds are the appropriate fit for you. Learn everything you can about the history of the bird. A Goffin's cockatoo can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.

Use caution if you adopt a Goffin's cockatoo from a rescue; many rescue birds were neglected and their self-destructive behaviors can take a lot of hard work to recover from.

Some online sources where you can find Goffin's cockatoos include:

  • Bird Breeders
  • Birds Now
  • Rescue the Birds

More Pet Bird Species and Further Research

If you are interested in a similar species, look at:

Otherwise, check out all of our other .