Goffins Cockatoo

Goffin’s can also be a bit mischievous and can be quick learners. Don’t be surprised to find that your Goffin’s cockatoo quickly learns to open the cage after seeing you unlatch the lock.

Quick Facts
  • Goffin’s are the smallest of the white cockatoos
  • Goffin’s are often mistaken for bare-eyed cockatoos because of their similar size and appearance
  • Diet & Nutrition: Parrot food

Goffin's cockatoo

Goffin’s cockatoos are not shy birds. Like a typical cockatoo, most enjoy being held and petted, and are friendly and sociable. Goffin’s can also be a bit mischievous and are quick learners. Don’t be surprised to find that your Goffin’s cockatoo quickly learns to open the cage after seeing you unlatch the lock.

Also called the Tanimbar corella, the Goffin’s cockatoo is the smallest of the white cockatoos, and are about 12 inches long from head to tail. It is most likely to be mistaken for a bare-eyed cockatoo (or little corella) because of their similar appearance.

Goffin’s are mainly white with salmon-colored feathers around the eyes and beak, and the deeper feathers in the crest and around the neck are also salmon colored. The undersides of the Goffin’s wing and tail feathers have a yellowish tinge.

Native Region / Natural Habitat

Goffin’s are native to the forests of Yamdena, Larat, and Selaru, all islands in the Tanimbar Islands archipelago in Indonesia.

Care & Feeding

A Goffin’s cockatoo needs a well-constructed cage to not only prevent it from escaping but to prevent the bird from destroying it. A Goffin’s might be smaller than other cockatoos but this little ‘too is quite active and needs a spacious cage to climb about. A pet Goffin’s needs a steady supply of toys and appropriate items to chew and destroy. A Goffin’s needs toys that challenge, such as puzzle toys and those that involve taking things apart or undoing knots.

Cockatoos, including Goffin’s, tend to be more needy than other pet parrot species and an owner should set boundaries early on, otherwise the bird might scream for attention. A cockatoo new to the home should not be showered with non-stop attention, but rather given toys and other enrichment opportunities as well as intermittent attention so that the bird learns to keep itself entertained when the people in its life are not able to offer one-on-one time.

Food for cockatoos should be nutritious, but should also include a foraging element as well. Cockatoos are fun-loving, intelligent and energetic parrots, and their food should reflect those traits. Wild cockatoos forage all day for seeds and nuts, as well as coconuts and grain crops. Like all companion parrots, cockatoos do not thrive on birdseed alone. Cockatoo food shouldn’t be boring to eat, either, and will love foods like Avi-CakesPellet-BerriesNutri-Berries, and Lafeber’s Premium Daily Diet Pellets.

Lafeber food for Cockatoos

Personality & Behavior

Goffin’s cockatoos are highly intelligent and especially good at figuring out how to unlock cage doors. In fact, a 2013 Oxford University study showed that Goffin’s can solve complex mechanical problems by undoing a series of locks one after another. Ten untrained Goffin’s cockatoos faced a puzzle box showing a nut behind a transparent door, which was secured by a series of five interlocking devices. To reach the nut, the cockatoos had to first remove a pin, then a screw, then a bolt, then turn a wheel 90 degrees, and then shift a latch sideways. One Goffin’s figured out the locks in under two hours without any help; many of the other cockatoos solved the problem with a little help or watching another cockatoo do it.

Speech & Sound

The Goffin’s cockatoo has a reputation as a “quieter cockatoo,” however, that’s not to say that a Goffin’s won’t screech, especially if he wants your attention. Although not a top talker, a Goffin’s might learn a fair share of words and phrases. Like many other cockatoos, Goffin’s tend to love dancing to music.

Health & Common Conditions

Cockatoos are prone to picking at or pulling out their feathers is not offered sufficient mental stimulation. Other diseases/conditions found in cockatoos include psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), fatty liver disease and obesity if fed a diet too high in fat.

Get A Goffin's Cockatoo

Goffin’s cockatoos are available from avian-specialty stores, bird breeders as well as for adoption from bird rescue organizations. Cockatoos are often given up for adoption due to behavior issues, which makes this a bird that needs to be fully researched and carefully considered. Ideally, a new cockatoo owner should work with an experienced cockatoo breeder and/or avian behaviorist early on to set a cockatoo up for success as a companion pet.