Moluccan Cockatoo

Moluccan Cockatoo

The Moluccan Cockatoo, cacatua moluccensis, is abut 50 cm (20 inches) when adult size. They are also commonly known as Salmon Crested Cockatoos. The Cockatoo is the most magnificent of the white cockatoos and most impressive of all is the bright, peach feathers of the crest. When alarmed, the Moluccan will react by quickly rising and lowering the crest (sometimes hissing or screaming at the same time). Its plumage will have varying degrees of salmon-pink throughout all of its feathering and again have the deep rich salmon crest. The under sides of the flight feathers is washed with deep salmon at the base and the tail are pale orange on the underside. The area of bare skin surrounding the eye is what, tinged with blue. Their iris is very deep black as a baby, but after the female turns a year old her eyes will slowly turn a reddish color. But on Moluccan's this is sometimes very difficult to determine. The bill is black and the legs are gray. Immature birds will look the same except babies will have a dark gray iris at first.


The Moluccan inhabits the Indonesian island of Cream, Saparua and Haruku in the South Moluccas, and has been introduced to Amboina.


They can become extremely loud if they are tame and then neglected. They will use an ear-splitting yell to protest. As far as their talking ability, they can be a good talker although their talking ability is not their greatest asset. Their wonderful nature is there best asset.

Social Habits:

The Moluccan's have a docile and affectionate nature and do make an outstanding pet. They are extremely intelligent and very attentive to its owner. As with most Cockatoos if they are spoiled they will crave constant attention and can become over demanding. This is especially true if you spent a lot of time with them and then later they are left to entertain themselves. Their happiest moments are those spent in the arms of their people. They are extremely intelligent many times figuring out how to escape form their cage. They are very good with children and are for the most part very predictable and evenly tempered. As wit most Cockatoos they can be destructive with wood items about the home, so be sure to provide them with lots to chew up, in their cage.   Whether you have a male of female you will still have a very sweet loving bird.


Moluccan's need a much large cage because they love to dance and strut and huge wood toys are a must. A 36" x 24" would be nice if you have the space and you can even go larger.  They might chew a lot on a cage, but a good quality power-coated cage (not just any brand) would be excellent and will out last a spray painted cage and be much easier to clean and keep nice. Be sure the cage has heavy duty bars as they have one of the toughest beaks of all the birds.  Many of the cheap cages on the market might be large, but will have weak bars. Suitable bar spacing would be 3/4" to 1 1/2".

Diet Information:

The best diet for any parrot such as the Moluccan would be pellets, fresh fruits and veggies. Cockatoo can be fussy eaters but are found of corn on the cob, nuts, coconuts, berries and beans. Sometimes they will be shy of new foods, but always be persistent- it will probably pay off and teach him to eat a good varied diet. With a good pellet diet, additional vitamins are not necessary except maybe spirulina.  Spirulina will enhance the color and the feathering on you Cockatoo, plus it is very healthy. There are lots of bird packaged mixes on the market today which will broadened a good veggie & fruit diet, while feeding a great nutritional diet, and making  it easy for you so that you can give him great food daily. Seed should be fed only in small portions by hand, maybe when doing training or "good -bird" offerings. A must with any parrot is a water bottle system. This will provide fresh, clean water to your bird at all times, even when you aren't home for a couple of days.


They will usually reach maturity between 3 and 5 years of age.


Be sure that you have unrelated birds if you decide to breed. They can only be sexed either by blood DNA sexing or surgically bay a qualified vet and also when mature by the color of their eyes. A large nest box is needed and they do love to chew wood so a ABS plastic nest box should be considered. A T-box style breeding box is a must with these birds so that if the male becomes aggressive he can't trap the female in the box. Male Moluccan's can be extremely aggressive and have been frequently known to kill their female mates, even after being with each other for many many years. Many breeders will make sure that the males wings are clipped and the female is flighted when breeding season nears. If you are breeding these birds as pets, this may not be possible, but watch the male that he doesn't become to aggressive towards his female. A female will lay 2 eggs, although will usually raise only one baby and quite commonly will not raise her own offspring at all. It usually is a good idea to incubate and raise these babies yourself (but only if you are experienced, and this also means feeding around the clock for the first two weeks). Eggs are usually incubated for 29 days.

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