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Salmon-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) Species Profile: Diet, Coloration, and Care
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Cacatua moluccensis

Also known as the Rose-Crested, M2 Cockatoo, or Moluccan Cockatoo, the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo is thought by some to be the prettiest of the species. With a life span of over 30 years, these birds require a solid commitment at purchase because they often become quite attached to their owners. While little is known of their habits in the wild, the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo is becoming a very popular pet among bird lovers. Cockatoos in general and the Salmon-Crested in particular have a very loud, quivering call as well as an exceptionally shrill screech. In the wild, these are thought to be used primarily as warning vocalizations. In captivity, they can indicate alarm or pleasure.

Unlike other cockatoos, the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo's crest will retain a backward angle even when erect. This is a communication behavior and can indicate happiness, curiosity or alarm.

Parrots can be very destructive to their environment, especially wooden items. Salmon-Crested Cockatoos are no exception. Take care in selecting perches, toys and food dishes and offer twigs or branches of aspen or ash as an alternative to furniture.

Although they are becoming increasingly threatened in the wild, they are successfully bred in captivity. A typical clutch contains two eggs. It is not uncommon for one hatchling to fall behind in growth and development. If this happens, remove and hand-raise the hatchling or it may not survive. Fledge occurs at 4 months, but it may be several years before breeding maturity occurs. When obtained as a juvenile or hand-raised, the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo becomes a loving pet.

Quick Stats:   Salmon-Crested Cockatoo
Family: Psittacidae
Origin: Southern Molucca and Amboina Islands of Indonesia
Size: 20-21 inches
Coloration: Pale salmon or pink with variation as to depth of color; undersides of feathers tend to be darker pink; underside of tail feathers is deep pink or yellow-orange; crest is deep pink; skin encircling eye is featherless white or tinged with blue; beak is grey to black
Diet: 65-80% high-quality commercial diet (pellets, crumbles or nuggets). The rest of the diet should consist of 15-30% vegetables and 5% fresh fruits, with an occasional nut. Use many varieties of fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly. No avocados or fruit pits. See Basic Nutrition for Psittacines (Parrot Family) for more information.
Cage Size: 36" H x 24" L x 36" W
Grooming: Trim toenails; beak may need periodic trimming; trim flight feathers as necessary.
Compatibility/Disposition: Best when kept alone or with another of same species; generally timid; loving.
Vocalization: Shrill screech or cry; can be taught to talk.
Playfulness: Very intelligent; provide plenty of toys.
Life Span: 30+ years
Nesting Sites in the Wild: Tree hollow
Breeding Season: Thought to be during summer months; mating behavior has not been well documented in the wild.
Sexing: Very close to being monomorphic; sometimes the iris of the male will be brown to black, while the female's is brownish-red.
Special: Very destructive; provide plenty of wood (aspen or ash) branches and twigs. Declining rapidly in the wild due to habitat destruction.

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