Cacatua moluccensis, the Moluccan Cockatoo, is one of 21 species of bird in the Cacatuidae family. Moluccan Cockatoos, also known as the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo, are native to south Moluccas in eastern Indonesia. Their habitat is primarily lowland forest up to 3,300 feet.
The highest population densities occur in primary forest, however the species is also found at lower density in secondary forest. It is the largest of the white cockatoos and unlike many species; the female is generally larger than the males. It has white-pink feathers with a definite peachy tint, a slight yellow on the under-wing and underside of the tail feathers.
Along with the Psittacidae family, also known as the True Parrots and the ones you’re likely to imagine when someone says the word “parrot,” Cockatoos make up the order Psittaciformes. Moluccan are the reach 18-22 inches in length at maturity. They are on the CITES endangered species list due to deforestation and the pet trade.
Moluccan Cockatoos, like other cockatoos and parrots have a curved beak shape and a zygodactyl foot, a foot that has two forward toes and two backwards toes. However you can always tell a cockatoo by their crest, a collection of feathers on their head that they can raise or lower.
Moluccan Cockatoo’s can be great pets. If you are considering the Moluccan Cockatoo as a pet you should read what we suggest as far as Cockatoo training so they do not bite or scream uncontrollably.
Unlike parrots they also have a gall bladder. Their coloring, predominately white, is caused by the lack of the Dyck texture feather, a unique feather composition specific to parrots which enables them to have vibrant blue and green feathers.
Moluccan Cockatoos live forty or more years in captivity and reach sexual maturity around two to three years of age. When breeding, they generally lay one to four white eggs every two to three days.
The young hatch in 28 days and become independent in 12 to 14 weeks. Surgical sexing is recommended to determine gender since the eye color is not always an accurate way to determine sex.
Moluccan Cockatoos are known for their cuddliness and affectionate disposition. They’re also known to be very demanding of their owner’s time. This demand for attention can result in a difficult bird with many behavior problems.
Socialization, training, and an educated owner are required for successful Moluccan ownership. Behaviors such as screeching, biting and feather plucking are often observed and are usually due to something missing in the bird’s environment.
Another common problem with Moluccan Cockatoos is that they emit a white powder which causes respiratory distress and allergic symptoms in many individuals. Common behavior problems stem from jealousy because they bond to their owners. They also become aggressive if they’re bored, ill, or frightened.
Minimum cage requirements are twice the wingspan length and plenty of room to climb and swing around, the bigger the better. They require a significant amount of time outside of their cage, toys and training to keep them occupied. An optimal Moluccan Cockatoo diet is based on natural pellets, fresh fruits and veggies, and seeds and nuts as treats.
Due to the high maintenance of the Moluccan Cockatoo and the long lifespan it is recommended that potential owners seriously consider whether they have the appropriate time and resources to properly care for a Cockatoo.
Common illnesses are Proventricular Dilatation Disease, obesity, and Pisttacine Beak and feather disease. Moluccan’s exhibiting the following symptoms must be taken to the avian veterinarian immediately; Beak swelling, fluffed, plucked, or soiled feathers, sitting on floor of habitat, wheezing or coughing, runny or discolored stools, favoring one foot, eye or nasal discharge, lethargy, or loss of appetite.