Citron Cockatoos

A pet Citron Crested Cockatoo.
Saspin13/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Common Names:

Citron Cockatoo, Citron-Crested Cockatoo, Sumba Cockatoo.

Scientific Name:

Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata.




Most Citron Cockatoos are between 13 and 15 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers.

Average Lifespan:

Up to 50 years in captivity.


Citron Cockatoos are known to be quieter than most Cockatoo species, but they have big personalities and they love to play and interact with their owners.

Inquisitive and affectionate, a Citron Cockatoo will want to be by your side as often as possible, so they are recommended for bird owners who have plenty of free time to spend with their pets.


Citron Cockatoos are mostly white, with pale orange patches on their cheeks, pale yellow on the undersides of their wings and tail feathers, and a bright orange crest. They have dark gray feet and grayish-black beaks.


Like all Cockatoos, Citron Cockatoos are prone to weight gain, so owners should monitor their fat intake. A healthy diet for a pet Citron Cockatoo should consist of high-quality pellets, a moderate amount of seed mix, and daily helpings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables.


All parrots need exercise, and the Citron Cockatoo is no exception. Those who own Citron Cockatoos should allow their birds a minimum of 3-4 hours outside of the cage per day so that the bird can play and stretch its muscles.

Cockatoos have strong beaks and jaws, so it's important to provide plenty of safe chew toys for them to exercise their jaw muscles on.

Citron Cockatoos as Pets:

Citron Cockatoos, with their beautiful colors and endearing personalities, are becoming more and more popular as pets. While it can be tempting to rush out and buy a Citron Cockatoo, potential owners should know that these are sensitive birds and are not right for everybody.

If you want to own a Citron Cockatoo, the first thing you should do is make sure that you have enough spare time to spend with it. Citron Cockatoos are very social, and they require a lot of interaction in order to maintain their emotional health. Citrons that are neglected may resort to screaming and destructive behavior, so it's important that owners invest as much time as possible into their pets.

While Citrons are among the smaller Cockatoo species, they still need plenty of space to live in. The minimum cage size for a Citron Cockatoo is 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 ft., and bigger is always better.

Citron Cockatoos may not be the best choice for those who live in apartments or condominiums. While they are known to be quieter than other Cockatoo species, they are still capable of loud screams and vocalizations that may not be appreciated by nearby neighbors.

Before you buy a Citron Cockatoo, contact local breeders to see if you can spend some time with them and their birds. Getting to know someone that has experience raising Citron Cockatoos will help you decide if they are the right bird for you.