Someone once described a baby Moluccan cockatoo as animated cotton candy. Their stunning beauty seems to appeal to just about everyone, which is a pity, because this is probably the most difficult cockatoo to own. People who choose a Moluccan as a pet face the same potential problems that Umbrella cockatoo ownership entails – and a few more to boot.  (Please visit our Umbrella page for more info on the large cockatoos.)

While all parrots are social creatures, perhaps the sensitive and highly emotional Moluccan cockatoo suffers most from forced isolation – which often happens when they are kept as human companions. You only have to watch the behavior of a happily mated pair to understand that Moluccans were never intended to live a solitary existence. Even in large flights, unless they are raising a family, males and females are rarely far apart. No other cockatoos display as much affection for each other as do happily mated Moluccans.


Unfortunately many baby Moluccan cockatoos have no idea how to relate to other birds because their early imprinting and socialization so often centers around people. Most breeders remove eggs for artificial incubation soon after they are laid. These domestic babies grow up never knowing their parents and are completely dependent on human caregivers to fill in the gaps in their development. Sadly, they also are deprived of the incredible amount of affection and attention that both parent birds lavish upon their offspring. Their need for closeness with other creatures makes it difficult for them to cope when their human flock leaves for work each day. If they lose their homes because they scream or pluck their feathers in frustration, a life as a breeding bird isn’t even an option. That is why it is so important that breeders leave baby cockatoos with their parents for as long as possible and then raise them in close contact with other babies or gentle older birds that can serve as parent figures. This way they grow up knowing that they are birds sharing their lives with people.        

Moluccan cockatoos are large, active, destructive, emotional, highly intelligent, and VERY noisy.  A cage for a Moluccan should be at least 36” deep by 48” wide and be supplied with a wide variety of toys and natural wood for chewing.

Joyous Moluccan Screams
(courtesy of )

Turn up your speaker volume and click here to experience the real life "I'm happy to be alive" scream of Moluccan cockatoos. Make sure that each member of your family listens to it before you consider getting a cockatoo!

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