Goffins Cockatoo Profile

Cacatua goffini

» Also called Goffin's corella and the Tanimbar Corella
» The range is the Tanimbar Island Archipelago of Indonesia
» The Smallest of the white cockatoos at about 12"
» CITES I Near-threatened due to deforestation and capture for the pet trade

One of the clowns of the cockatoo world. Acrobatic busy birds who need lots of activity and stimulation with a variety of toys, adequate cage space, play gyms, climbing trees. Some are champion cuddlers while others are too busy to spend that much time in one place. Many are prone to excessive screaming; It is important to establish early anti-screaming protocols with young birds. Be careful not to reward screaming with drama. Teaching independence is important as spoiled, overdependent birds can become difficult pets. Imported birds were inexpensive and it was difficult to win their trust so these ‘toos got a reputation for being difficult but properly raised hand-feds can be delightful.

A parrot breeder once told me that she heard the Goffin’s 'practicing' a lot before they actually settled down and had babies. She reported that she had never heard that much recreational sex from any of her other cockatoos or parrots. I have heard similar reports from people with companion Goffins. So caregivers should pay particular attention to whether or not they are handling their Goffins in a way that might be interpreted by the bird as being sexual.

I am not quite sure if I remember this accurately, but I am pretty sure that the very first cockatoo that I ever did a consultation with was an imported Goffins cockatoo. I specifically remember that the women who bought the bird had only paid $49.00 for it and were not quite sure why they purchased the bird. Despite the fact that they had received no information, they had actually made some progress with him. After they brought him home, he came out of the cage almost immediately and quickly ran up on the back of the couch. This became his hangout and it was difficult to get him back in the cage. Because he was on the back of the couch so often, he actually started to climb down and sit on one of the woman’s shoulder to get head skritches. He had established a firm routine and would not accept hands presented to him in any other way. I was able to towel him calmly from the front without causing him any trauma and then move the towel away from his head so I could give him head skritches. It took a bit of time for his new caregivers to convince him to change his routine and he gradually learned that sitting on her hand was also a good place to get head skritches. Eventually when he was wrapped in the towel, the woman would place her hand under him and get him to sit on her hand. Once he was used to this, she could remove the towel and he would be surprised he was sitting on her hand but was OK with it. He turned out to be a pretty good cockatoo for the $49.00 investment but only because they took the time to win his trust.




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