Home to the inland and south-inland regions of Australia, the Major Mitchell Cockatoo, is a bird with many intriguing facts. Major Mitchell’s has its unique monotypic genus, called the Lophochroa- however, it’s extremely common for people to mistake them into the Cacatua genus.
A Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo is a white and pink colored parrot and small in size (approximately 15 inches or 38cm.) They’re best known for their “loud” and vibrant personalities, including an ability to vocalize and replicate speech. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo is a friendly animal that also can be tamed to become a loving household pet.
Despite their lively and talkative personalities, the Major Mitchell Cockatoo continues to be a favorite Australian animal. They’re not only fascinating creatures, but they’re also stunning in appearance. If you’d like to learn more cool facts about Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos- continue reading!
1. Males and Females Look Identical
Try observing both a male and a female Major Mitchell Cockatoo besides one another, and nine times out of ten, you’ll most likely think they’re of the same gender. So unless you’ve studied these birds before, both genders tend to look identical.
If you’re trying to tell the difference between the two, here are some things you can try to look out for:
- Male Major Mitchell’s are slightly larger in size;
- Females have a broader yellow stripe, located on their crest;
- Mature females also develop a red-eye.
2. Lifespan is Between 60 – 70 Years!
Did you know that a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo lifespan is a minimum of 60 years! That’s not even triple the amount of time compared to common household pets, like cats or dogs. The average time a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo can live between is typically 65 – 75 years.
Considering their lifespan, it’s essential for you first to think who will care for the bird (if used as a pet) when he eventually outlives you.
Extra fun fact: The longest time a Major Mitchell Cockatoo has lived on earth for was 83 years, and peacefully died in a Zoo located in The United States.
3. They Can Be Kept as Pets
Touched on briefly throughout this article, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo can adapt to becoming a compassionate household pet; Not only within Australia but also in The United States.
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo can be kept as pets because of their ability to be tamed. They’re intelligent birds; And when appropriately tamed, they can quickly provide just as much affection than any other animal.
Other reasons why they can be kept as pets is due to their friendly and affectionate nature, ability to understand commands and overall adaptable personalities.
4. “Messy” is Their Middle Name
Well, “Messy” isn’t literally their middle name, but one would certainly assume- and here’s why! Major Mitchell Cockatoo birds aren’t exactly the cleanest of beings; in fact, they’re known to be quite destructive while they’re young.
Owners recall their once loveable birds, destroying furniture, nearby objects, and anything else they can get their beaks on! They also regularly spread white dust, which comes from their feathers (in an attempt to keep their coat clean and shiny).
Although part of this behavior is normal (aka- the spreading of white dust), destructive behavior indeed can become an issue, for this is why purchasing a bird that has already been tamed- or learning to tame them should be considered before purchase.
5. They’re Friendly and Affectionate
Overall, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo is friendly and affectionate birds. They have a natural tendency to form an extremely close bond with its keeper, which lasts its entire lifetime. But beware: some people have commented that their warm nature can sometimes lean more towards the “clingy” side.
These birds are known to be enthusiastic, energetic, and lively-spirited. They enjoy the spotlight and can be quite sociable, both with their pairs or with surrounding humans. Also, Major Mitchell’s love cuddles- perfect for someone looking for one-on-one companionship.
6. Aggression Can Occur if Not Tamed
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo can have the odd aggression streak, especially when they’re young. Sometimes, they’ll also bite or lunge at their owners- but only if they’ve lacked proper socialization or training.
It’s good to spend time taming your Major Mitchell, to prevent such aggression from occurring for a prolonged period. Taming can easily be achieved by understanding your bird’s stress triggers, socializing them regularly, and identifying if anything around them is causing unnecessary fear or anxiety.
7. Talkative, Talkative, Talkative!
When trained by the right handler, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos can be quite the chatter-boxes. They’re incredibly talkative and love to interact with their owners through basic commands which they’ve learned.
Communication and vocalization are skills that most Major Mitchell Cockatoos possess, especially when trained while they’re young. Many handlers have commented on their talkative nature, finding them quite amusing animals. But beware, this bird is known to be “over-talkative,” sometimes becoming annoying or uncontrollable.
8. They’re Prone to Obesity
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo diet consists primarily of grains and seeds. They enjoy feeding on individual pine trees, weeds, fruits and are also known to eat various insects. What you may find interesting, however, is that they’re prone to obesity.
The risk of obesity comes from their fat intake, which can sometimes increase when they’re being cared for by a handler with less care. It’s essential to monitor their fat intake, to decrease the likelihood of unnecessary weight gain.
9. They are Arboreal
An animal classified as arboreal means their primary habitat is within trees- and for Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, they’re exactly that. Major Mitchell’s live in trees surrounded by dry and dull areas. They’re often found in states such as Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia.
10. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos are Monogamous
Much like humans, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos are monogamous beings. They prefer having one life-long partner, at least for the mating season.
Mating season occurs between August and October; The end of winter and throughout spring in Australia.
When Major Mitchell’s are searching for their ideal mating partner, males will do “bopping” like motions along branches. Their heads will continuously bop up and down, and their crests will also be raised.
11. Females Have 2 – 4 Eggs Per Nest
A female Major Mitchell Cockatoo has one clutch per year. When she lays her eggs, she’ll lay one every 3 – 5 days. And in total, she has 2 – 4 eggs per nest. Their incubation period lasts between 24 – 31 days and hatchlings are considered sexually mature from 3 – 4 years of age.
12. They Dislike Noisy Environments (Despite Being Noisy Themselves)
Yes, the hypocrisy is real. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos highly dislike noisy environments, even though they’re extremely noisy themselves. A situation with overly-loud chatter, laughter or similar sound, can be extremely stressful for a Major Mitchell.
13. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos are Under Threat
If you weren’t already aware, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos remain under constant threat. Although their extinction status sits at “least concerned, they’re still a bird that’s easily preyed on- and are monitored regularly.
One of the major causes that have impacted the decline in species is due to extensive clearing of agriculture. As we already know, Major Mitchell’s primary live within trees located in arid-regions- and with the removal of these environments in Australia, they’re threatened continuously.
14. They Cost More Than Common Household Pets
In comparison to the price of common household pets like cats, dogs, or rodents- Major Mitchell Cockatoos certainly is an investment.
On average, you can purchase a young, non-domesticated Major Mitchell Cockatoo for approximately $350 AUD (or $240 USD.) To buy a tamed Major Mitchell Cockatoo, however, expect it to cost you anywhere between $650 – $850 AUD (or $450 – $600 USD.)
As mentioned above, when you compare these prices to common pets- you’ll be paying more. It’s good to remember, though, that they’re certainly worth the investment- and can be a fantastic life-long companion.
15. They’re Beautiful in Color
Known for their stunning appearance, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos are regarded as the most “beautiful birds.” They are a soft-feathered bird- possessing colors of glistening white and salmon-pink. Their crest is also a bright red and yellow color, with males being slightly more vibrant than females. They have no other color mutations.