Cockatoo, Moluccan

Moluccan Cockatoo

Cockatoo, Moluccan (Salmon-Crested Cockatoo)

Scientific Name: Cacatua moluccensis

Status: Vulnerable

Habitat: Lowland forests of the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) of eastern Indonesia

Diet: Seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects

Length: Up to 20 inches

Wingspan: Up to two feet

Weight: Between 1.5 and 2 pounds

This species namesake salmon-crest is a ridge of feathers on the top of the head that the bird can raise when threatened or excited. In addition to its beautiful colors, this species is known for loud vocalizations, incredible intelligence, and need for social contact.

The Moluccan cockatoo has small tufts of soft feathers called powder down, the tips of which disintegrate into small flakes of keratin—the same substance that comprises your fingernails and hair. The bird uses the powdery flakes to coat, clean, and waterproof the other feathers—a little like using a dry shampoo.

The Moluccan cockatoo can no longer be imported into the U.S. due to the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992, which was enacted to protect bird species threatened by over-collection for the international pet trade.

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