Goffin's Cockatoos

Goffin's Cockatoos
A Pair of Goffin's Cockatoos. Arco J & C/Getty Images

Common Names:

Goffin's Cockatoo, Tanimbar Cockatoo.

Scientific Name:

Cacatua goffini.




The Goffin's Cockatoo is the smallest Cockatoo species, and is normally between 12 and 13 inches long from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers.

Average Lifespan:

30+ years.


Goffin's Cockatoos have a reputation for being very social and affectionate. They are playful, inquisitive birds that require plenty of interaction and attention from their owners.

Goffin's Cockatoos are a good choice for bird lovers who have plenty of time to spend with their new pets. They are one of the smaller cockatoo but they are quite fun-loving and gregarious. These active birds require a lot of attention and interaction.


The Goffin's Cockatoo is mostly white with touches of light salmon/pink on either side of their beaks.


Like all Cockatoos, Goffin's Cockatoos are prone to weight gain, so owners should monitor their fat intake. A healthy diet for a Goffin's Cockatoo should consist of high quality pellets, and daily helpings of fresh leafy greens, root vegetables as well as fruit and some nuts. A wide variety of healthy raw food is the way to go when feeding these wonderful birds. Learning to sprout is also a great way of getting much needed live, fresh, raw nutrition into them. The wider the variety of vegetables, grains, greens and nuts you feed them, the better off they will be in regards to their health.

This goes a very long way in ensuring that your Goffin's remain healthy and in good condition. And if your bird eats well, she will have a much higher quality of life. 


Goffin's Cockatoos are active birds and need plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy. Owners should be prepared to give their birds a minimum of 3-4 supervised hours outside of the cage each day, to play and stretch their muscles.

Interactive toys are a good choice to ensure that these birds get the exercise they require to stay in good physical condition. They are a very intelligent bird so the interactive toys not only provide exercise, it is a way to stimulate their mind.

Goffin's Cockatoos as Pets:

Described by some as the perfect companion parrots, Goffin's Cockatoos pack the best things about Cockatoos into a smaller, easier to care for package. Not unlike mini-macaws, they have the same temperament as the larger cockatoos, but they come in that smaller package and their need for stimulation and interaction are the same. 

Loving and affectionate, Goffin's Cockatoos bond strongly with their owners and require daily interaction to maintain their mental and emotional health. These birds simply cannot thrive if they are neglected, and will resort to destructive behaviors if their need for interaction is not met. Because of this, they are recommended for experienced bird owners that have plenty of free time to spend with their feathered friends. Even though they are smaller than the larger cockatoos does not mean they need less attention and time spent interacting with them. 

Because the Goffin's Cockatoos are the smallest Cockatoo species, they can be housed in a smaller cage than their larger cousins.

However, when it comes to cages, larger is always better. They should also be provided  time outside of the cage each day. This time outside the cage allows them a feeling of independence. A play stand is a perfect accessory for this reason. You can provide toys and treats on the play stand to keep your Goffin's occupied and stimulated. The fact that they don't require as much space makes the Goffin's Cockatoo a popular pet with those who don't have room to house a larger Cockatoo species.

Before you bring a Goffin's Cockatoo home, contact local breeders and see if you can spend some time with them and their birds. Talking with someone experienced in keeping Goffin's Cockatoos will help you decide if they are indeed the right bird for you.

Edited by: Patricia Sund