header image


Europeans first discovered Moluccan parrots when Ferdinand Magellan attempted to find a quick route to the Far East and sailed through the Magellan Straits. Magellan was killed in this adventure but 18 of his crewman made it back to Seville Spain. Among them was Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian chronicler, who was enamoured with the great white parrots called catara (cockatoos). Molucann Cockatoos (Cacatua Moluccensis) live a similar lifespan as humans - 75 or 80 years.

Natural History

Molucann Cockatoos (Cacatua Moluccensis) live a similar lifespan as humans - 75 or 80 years. Moluccans eat a varied diet of fruits, seeds, vegetables, roots, nut and coconuts and even a little meat. They will go after insects. They generally weight 800-950grams and are about 40-50cm. Both adults large, soft peach coloured cockatoo with bright, dark peach crest; soft yellow suffusion underwings and undertail. Eye black, area around eye white. Eye black in male and dark brown in female.

As Pets

What looks like a perfect match - Moluccan and human - usually isn't. In truth Moluccan Cockatoos are among the most difficult birds to keep! Big Bird Bubba is not easy to care for... Mr. High Maintainence... he's a perpetual three year old child that never graduates to four years old. Moluccan Cockatoos can never be left alone for any period of time and they are smart so a cage will bore them quickly. They would and do - go insane. I think most the cockatoos go insane living with humans and a large number of cockatoos self-destruct (self-mutiliate) due to insanity.. Cockatoos scream bloody murder for fun and games. They do it when they are happy and they do it when they are pissed.

Who's a pet?

So let this correct the impression that partnering with a Moluccan Cockatoo is a pet-owner relationship. This is a complex animal, uses tools, knows how to manipulate and lives as long as we do. They have huge emotional needs and require lots of handling. They like to be cuddled. Because of the demanding relationship most owners give up within a few years of owning a cockatoo. Many cockatoos never find a home and end up self destructing or if lucky being rescued. Big Bird Bubba was a rescue, as the previous owners could no longer deal with his noise or desire to go after their feet. He was bored and looking for attention. He went through eight homes in a decade. We've been partnered more than 17 years.


Bubba Big Bird Bubba is a latent teenager and acts like such. He's light pink white in color with a striking salmon color head crest. Big Bird Bubba goes to work every day with me... and he's gotta be first! He really enjoys riding the bike home whenever possible. He's also incredibly competitive on a bike and gets very excited when others are faster on a bike. His other favorite thing is to chew wood. He's a big bird so he likes chewing pieces of 2x4s, not small toys. He's very fond of chewing wood in his various small tents.

Being a highly social animal Bubba is happiest being well intrigrated with friends. Cockatoos who never venture forth and meet others get very neurotic about their home, cage, etc.


Bubba is happiest when he's gotten 12 hours of sleep a day. He wants to chew, burrow, destroy, explore, play in his tent for one fourth his waking hours. He needs new toys and/or activities daily or he's bored. When he's bored he tries to be as obnoxious as possible. He can be fairly obnoxious. Sometimes it works - sometimes he gets a a time-out. When we've had a good day he's whistling songs to me and kissing my ear.

9 Steps To Avoid “Unwanted Cockatoo Syndrome”

Rebecca Sweat provides an excellent guideline for developing a healthy relationship with your bird.

1. Educate yourself about cockatoos — be aware of the potential problems you might face.

2. Look for a cockatoo that has been raised to be independent and taught rules for living with a human “flock.”

3. If you’ve decided that a cockatoo is for you, choose the largest cage you can afford.

4. Cockatoos need to feel part of a flock. Have the cockatoo part of daily activity.

5. Supply your cockatoo with a wide variety of good-quality parrot toys. .

6. Feed your cockatoo a proper diet.

7. Plan on at least 15 to 20 minutes of rigorous exercise with your cockatoo everyday. Accustom your bird to wearing a harness and leash.

8. Karras also believes that cockatoos should be taught a designated time when it is OK to scream.

9. Finally, establish limits and boundaries for your cockatoo. Be consistent in enforcing those rules.

Please read more on this topic at the Bird Channel by Rebecca Sweat.