Eleonoras Cockatoo Profile

ELEONORA’S COCKATOO 
Cacatua galerita eleonora

by Sally Blanchard

» Also called Medium sulfur-crested cockatoo
» The smallest of the four sub-species of galerita cockatoos at 17 to 18"
» Is endemic to Aru Islands of Indonesia and was introduced to the nearby Kai islands.
» This cockatoo, which is popular in aviculture, is considered stable in its range.


The Eleonora’s cockatoos can be exceptional companions. The well-socialized birds have a reputation for being the steadiest cockatoo companions. They like routine but are usually accepting of new people, new situations. Like all cockatoos, these birds want to be part of daily routine and they do not do well placed away from family flock in a bird room. Like some of the other cockatoos, these birds often create little rituals for themselves. They are not as high-strung and are usually more even-tempered than most of the other ’toos in the sulfur-crested group. With proper socialization, the Eleonoras can be good family birds. Some talk clearly and appropriately. I have generally found these birds to be very curious and  playful. They can stay focused on puzzle or activity type toy for some time. If abundantly weaned, the Medium Sulfur-cresteds can be best eaters of the cockatoos. Abundance weaning means the bappy cockatoo has not been deprived of food and s fed a variety of nutritious foods, weaned according to the bird’s comfort (not the breeders’s convenience). Abundance weaning means that the baby is not weaned until he is truly comfortable eating on his own.


Over the years, I have worked with many Eleonora’s Cockatoos. Most of their problem behaviors were quickly solved if the caregivers took the time to understand the causes of the negative behavior. As with most cockatoos, this social bird has a great deal of trouble with a sudden decrease in attention. They enjoy ambient attention when the people in their lives are in the same room even if the bird is not getting any direct attention except for an occasional comment on what a good boy he is being. During times when the caregivers are stressed and cannot give their Medium Sulfur-crests the same level of attention that he is used to, if they can provide him with 10-15 minutes of focused, in-your-face, instructional interaction he will not suffer as much as he would being totally ignored.  


Snowball, the famous dancing cockatoo, is an Eleonora's cockatoo who became famous from a You Tube video. The video was seen by two researcher from the Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Patel led research to determine if Snowball was indeed synchronizing his movement to the beat of the music. It was determined that he changed his dance tempo when the beat of the music changed. This was previously believed to be a trait limited to humans. It is always interesting to me when scientific research confirms what we have already observed in our companion parrots. I have seen many dancing cockatoos. Both of my African greys bobbed up and down to music and my caique, Spike definitely has a sense of rhythm  


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