Citron Crested Cockatoo

CITRON-CRESTED COCKATOO
Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata


» About 13"
» The Citron is a sub-species of the sulphur-crested cockaoo
» From the island of Sumba in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia
» Critically Endangered 


I have met quite a few of these delightful cockatoos. The first Citron-crested I ever worked with was a wild-caught bird whose caregiver had not been able to make any progress with him. I used a towel to quickly get him out of his cage. I had toweled so many birds from their cages that I could do it without having to chase them around and frighten them excessively. I took him into the woman’s bedroom to work with him on the bed. He enjoyed the head skritches I gave him, but when I let him out of the towel he did something that I had never seen before. Instead of running away from me, he hopped up and down all over the bed. It was actually difficult to catch him again to work with him because he was so involved in his hopping. Perhaps this was his particular way of showing stress, but I have never seen another cockatoo hop around this way in this kind of situation.


Citrons shouldn’t necessarily be lumped personality-wise with the Lesser Sulfur-crests who share the same genus and species. I worked with quite a few wild-caught Citron-crests and some of them exhibited fearful behavior in adjusting to their new homes. Well-raised bappies seem to be quite a bit different. According to Chris Shank of Cockatoo Downs, they are usually calmer and more self-possessed. They are not as easily frightened of new adventurous and they also do not have  as much need for constant stimulation. Citrons are often more sedentary than Lesser's. As with several other cockatoos, these clever birds often create little rituals with food and toys placing them on various parts of body. Barbara Bailey believes that hen Citrons are the best cockatoo companions. I fell in love with her Citron, Pumpkin, after spending time with the delightful  bird. She was a little bit shy when I first met her but came out of her shell once she got to know me. Citrons don't appear to be big chewers, so they need toys that provide activity and motion. Well-socialized Citrons are accepting of new adventures and people. See the Lesser description for information about phobic behavior possibilities with some individuals.


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