Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Cacatua - Yellow Crested Cockatoo


Yellow Crested Cockatoo - Cacatua Sulphurea - Critically Endangered

The yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua Sulphurea) also known as the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, is a medium-sized (about 34-cm-long) cockatoo with white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill, and a retractile yellow or orange crest. The sexes are similar.

The yellow-crested cockatoo is found in wooded and cultivated areas of East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas. It is easily confused with the larger and more common sulphur-crested cockatoo, which has a more easterly distribution and can be distinguished by the lack of pale yellow coloring on its cheeks (although some sulphur-cresteds develop yellowish patches). Also, the yellow-crested cockatoo's crest is a brighter color, closer to orange. The citron-crested cockatoo, which is a subspecies of the yellow-crested cockatoo, is similar, but its crest is clearly orange.

The yellow-crested cockatoo's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts, and herbaceous plants.


Traditionally, four subspecies have been recognized:

C. s. abbotti (Abbott's lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo)
C. s. citrinocristata (
citron-crested cockatoo) - now recognized as a separate species.
C. s. parvula (Timor sulphur-crested cockatoo)
C. s. sulphurea (nominate subspecies)

Based on recent evidence, three additional subspecies should be recognized (bringing the total to seven)

C. s. djampeana – Tanah Jampea
C. s. occidentalis – Lesser Sundas from Lombok to Alor (thereby restricting C. p. parvula to Timor)
C. s. paulandrewi – Tukangbesi Islands


The yellow-crested cockatoo nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and usually two in a clutch. The incubation is shared by both parents. The eggs are incubated for about 28 days and the chicks leave the nest about 75 days after hatching.


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Page last updated: 1/4/24

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