Umbrella Cockatoo

(Cacatua alba)

Umbrella cockatoos typically occur singly, in pairs or small groups, and sometimes in flocks numbering up to fifteen. They gather in the afternoon in groups of as many as fifty birds. Although these birds are social, aside from mating pairs, they usually do not establish close bonds with each other.

The Umbrella cockatoo is a native of the Indonesian islands of Northern and Central Moluccas. Umbrella cockatoos inhabit wooded areas and are found in open woodland and forests, mangroves, swamps, and agricultural areas. They are especially common around the edges of clearings and rivers. Most of their time is spent in the tree canopy.

They typically eat various nuts, seeds, and fruits, such as durian, papaya, langsat, and rambutan. They also supplement their diet with skinks, and large insects, such as crickets.

They have been seen banging pieces of wood on logs and trees to warn other birds that their territory belongs to them. White cockatoos use loud vocalizations, sometimes for communication. They make a loud, grating scream or screech and they may hiss when alarmed. The major purpose of a cockatoo’s crest is communication. When raised, it can indicate a number of intentions: displaying for its mate; calling its flock members; defending its flock or territory; or expressing curiosity, excitement, fear surprise, or frustration. If approaching a cockatoo, the raised crest may warn not to touch them – at the risk of being bitten. The lowering of a crest may indicate friendliness, calmness, and general approachability.

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