Family Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)


White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba)


French: Cacatoès blanc German: Weißhaubenkakadu Spanish: Cacatúa blanca
Other common names: White-crested Cockatoo

Psittacus albus

Statius Müller

, 1776,



Closely related to C. moluccensis. Monotypic.


N Moluccas: Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta, Mandioli and Bacan. Specimens from Bisa and Obi thought to have been escapes.

Introduced to Taiwan.

Descriptive notes

46 cm; 550 g. White cockatoo with underside of wings and tail washed yellow; large backward-sloping white crest, which is spread upwards and sideways to make head seem very... read more


Commonest calls are a nasal monosyllabic or bisyllabic “keh” or “keeh-ah”, and a fast repeated... read more


Flat or gently sloping primary and logged lowland forests below altitude of 600 m.

Food and feeding

Mainly arboreal seeds and fruits; birds seen bark-peeling and investigating epiphytes suggest that species may also eat insects.


Limited records from the wild suggest breeding starts early in year, with young in Apr–May, but also eggs in May. Nests in hollows in... read more


Never recorded in large flocks; generally in pairs or small groups.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Previouslly considered Vulnerable. Although species used to be common throughout N Moluccas, numbers now much reduced due to logging of habitat,... read more

Recommended citation

Rowley, I. & Boesman, P. (2019). White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 February 2019).