Goffin’s Cockatooo

Goffins Cockatoo The Akron Zoo 053118

Cacatua goffini Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psitticidae


Natural History Information 

Range and Habitat 

  • Living in both forest and agricultural land, the Goffin’s Cockatoo can be found in coastal, lowland areas of the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia.  


  • Median life expectancy in the wild: unknown
  • Median life expectancy in captivity: up to 75 years

Ecosystem Role 

  • Cockatoos are important seed dispersers.

Husbandry Information

Housing Requirements

Diet Requirements

  • Wild cockatoos are herbivores and eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and flowers.
  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo gets 25g Harrison’s Coarse daily and either 25g vegetables (M, W, F) or 20g fruits (T, R, Sat, Sun). She also gets 1 tbsp. Parrot Seed mix daily for training.

Weight Management

Veterinary Concerns


Behavioral Relevant Information 

  • Goffin’s cockatoos are cavity nesters and live in a loose social flock.  

Environmental Enrichment  

  • Describe environmental/habitat changes made for this species to enrich its home 

 Behavioral Enrichment  

  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo LOVES taking a warm mist bath. She likes to sit in a small cup of water and preen as she gets misted.  


  • Akron Zoo: daily enrichment is required for all parrots at the zoo.

Other Enrichment Resources  


Behaviors Trained

  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo can step on and off the hand, put herself in her kennel, go on and off the scale, target, wave, climb a thick rope with large knots, and hoist a half coconut cup at the end of a long thin rope.  

Reinforcers used & schedule of reinforcement  

  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo prefers peanuts but will work for a seed mix that includes sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts.

Colony or Breeding Management

Individual Identification

Programmatic Information

Messaging Themes 

Threats and Conservation Status 

  • Listed on Appendix I of CITES in 1992
  • Once plentiful, Goffin’s cockatoos have been severely affected by deforestation and the pet trade. By 1990, more than 100,000 of these birds were taken for the pet trade. Cats and rats prey upon the remaining wild birds. Although they breed readily under human care, it is unlikely we will be able to successfully return them to their native habitat.

Interesting Natural History Information 

  • Goffin’s cockatoos are crepuscular (awake at dawn and dusk).
  • Most parrots mate for life and it is thought Goffin’s are no exception. Little is known about their specific reproductive behavior.

Did you know… 

  •  Cockatoos might raise their crest when nervous, irritated, or excited.

Handling & Presentation Tips 

  • Akron Zoo: Our cockatoo can be presented both on the hand and on a wooden T- perch. The T-perch has eye hooks to attach her climbing rope and her hoisting rope. Showing off her natural behaviors and her ability to solve problems helps to reduce her appearing like a pet to visitors.   

Use Guidelines 

  • Akron Zoo: ensure wings are clipped before taking to outdoor program or enrichment.   

Public Contact and Interaction Guidelines 

  • Akron Zoo: guests cannot touch any of the birds at the Akron Zoo, but they can ask for some behaviors at a safe distance (such as wave or target).

Transportation Tips 

  • Akron Zoo: kennel should be covered for privacy during transportation to and from program. Cover can be vented above the door and side panels to allow air flow while driving in the van.

Crating Techniques 

  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo travels in a small vari-kennel with a natural wooden perch. She had originally been taught to be placed into the kennel tail first but has also been taught to walk into the kennel on her own. She receives a reward either way she kennels.
  • Ensure the perch in the kennel is in good condition before placing bird inside- ours likes to chew and can expose the metal screws used to attach the perch.  

Temperature Guidelines

  • Akron Zoo: our cockatoo is approved for outside use between 65-85ºF.

Acquisition Information

Comments from the Rating System



Contributors and Citations

  • Akron Zoo