Goffin’s Cockatoo

Goffin’s Cockatoo
Scientific NameCacatua goffiniana
Common NameGoffin’s Cockatoo
Care LevelIntermediate to Advanced
Lifespan25-40 years
Adult Size12 inches
DietSeeds, fruits, nuts, and vegetables
OriginTanimbar Islands of Indonesia
TemperamentIntelligent, active, curious

History & Domestication

The Goffin’s Cockatoo, also known as the Tanimbar Corella, originates from the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia. Although not as extensively studied in the wild as some other parrot species, their popularity in the pet trade began to rise during the latter half of the 20th century. This was due in part to their charming personalities and manageable size. Given their growing popularity, efforts have been made to breed these birds in captivity, ensuring that wild populations are not threatened by the pet trade.

Historically, local islanders viewed these birds as pets, but with the growing global interest in parrots, many Goffin’s Cockatoos were unfortunately captured from the wild to meet demand. Thankfully, with international protection measures in place, the emphasis has shifted toward sustainable, captive breeding.


The Goffin’s Cockatoo is one of the smallest in the cockatoo family, typically reaching an adult size of about 12 inches from beak to tail. Their petite stature often adds to their appeal for individuals who want a cockatoo’s personality in a more compact form.


With proper care and a stable environment, Goffin’s Cockatoos can live for a long time, often reaching ages between 25 to 40 years. This lifespan emphasizes the importance of a long-term commitment when adopting or purchasing one of these intelligent birds.


Breeding Goffin’s Cockatoos requires careful planning and a suitable environment. They typically breed once a year, with the female laying 2-3 eggs per clutch. The incubation period lasts about 24-26 days. Parental care is quite involved, with both parents sharing responsibilities for feeding and nurturing the chicks until they are ready to fledge at around 10 weeks of age.

Unique Features

Aside from their smaller size, Goffin’s Cockatoos have a predominantly white plumage, making them look elegant and pristine. They have a soft pink hue around their eyes and beak, giving their face a gentle and endearing appearance. When excited or curious, they’ll raise their feathered crest, adding to their expressive nature.

Behavior and Temperament

Goffin’s Cockatoos are incredibly intelligent, often compared to toddlers in terms of their cognitive abilities and their mischievous nature. They are known to be problem-solvers and have been used in various cognitive research studies due to their ability to use tools and understand complex problems. Because of their intelligence, they require constant mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

They are social creatures and thrive on interaction, both with their human caregivers and with other birds. Without proper socialization and stimulation, they can become depressed or develop behavioral issues.


Regular, gentle handling is crucial for a Goffin’s Cockatoo. They form strong bonds with their caregivers and seek out interaction. However, like any bird, they can be nippy or moody, especially if they feel threatened or cornered. It’s crucial to approach and handle them with patience and respect, allowing the bird to come to you on its terms.

Grooming Needs

Regular grooming is essential to keep a Goffin’s Cockatoo in top shape. This includes wing clipping, if required, to prevent flying away; nail trimming to prevent overgrowth; and beak checks to ensure it’s not becoming overgrown. They also enjoy regular baths or misting sessions to keep their skin and feathers in optimal condition.

Diet & Nutrition

A balanced diet is vital for the Goffin’s Cockatoo’s overall health. While seeds and pellets form the base of their diet, they also need fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional protein sources like cooked lean meats or legumes. It’s essential to provide a variety of foods to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.


Being tropical birds, Goffin’s Cockatoos prefer warm temperatures. If housed outside, ensure they are protected from cold drafts or extreme weather conditions. Indoor birds should be kept away from air conditioning or heating vents. Consistency in temperature is key to their well-being.

Common Health Issues

Like all parrots, Goffin’s Cockatoos can be susceptible to various health issues, including feather plucking due to stress or boredom, respiratory problems, fungal infections, or beak overgrowth. Regular vet check-ups are essential for early detection and treatment of potential health concerns.

Habitat Requirements

A spacious cage or aviary is necessary for Goffin’s Cockatoos. Due to their active nature, they require plenty of space to move, play, and stretch their wings. Equipping their habitat with toys, perches, and puzzle feeders can help provide mental stimulation. Regular out-of-cage time in a safe environment is also crucial for their well-being.

Cost of Care

The initial cost of purchasing a Goffin’s Cockatoo can be high, but potential owners should also consider ongoing costs, including a spacious cage, high-quality food, toys, veterinary care, and grooming. Given their long lifespan, the commitment to their well-being, both financially and time-wise, is significant. Owning one of these birds can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s essential to be prepared for the responsibility it entails.

Goffin’s Cockatoo FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)