How Long Do Cockatoos Live? All Cockatoos Lifespan Explained

How Long Do Cockatoos Live

Cockatoos are one of the most beloved pets all over the world, loved for their playful and communicative as well as their gorgeous plumage. 

But when deciding on a pet, what we all wish is for a companion who will stay with us long. 

And cockatoos are notorious for their extended lifespan though, of course, this can change with species. 

So today we are going to be looking at different cockatoos and their lifespans, factors that affect their lifespan as well as answer some other burning questions along the way. Let’s get into it! 

List Of Cockatoos Lifespan

CockatoosLifespan in WildLifespan in Captivity
Cockatiels10 – 15 years20-25 years
Goffin’s Cockatoo25 – 50 yearsMaximum 65 years
Galah Cockatoo20 – 40 yearsUp to 80 years
Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo20 – 40 yearsUp to 70 years
Moluccan CockatooUp to 90 years70 years
Umbrella CockatooUp to 60 years50 – 60 years

Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus)

Often considered a part of the parrot family because of their size and build, cockatiels are part of the cockatoo club – and a very popular member at that. 

They are one of the most popular pets and are easy to breed. They are well-loved for their comical and cuddly personalities. 

They are very expressive and communicative and can break out in song pretty frequently. A great source of amusement, they are wonderful companions to any home.

In the wild, cockatiels live about 10 – 15 years while domesticated cockatiels taken care of in the best conditions can have a much larger lifespan of about 20 – 25 years.

Goffin’s Cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana)

One of the smallest species in the group, Goffin’s cockatoo, or Tanimbar corella, as it is also called, has considerable intelligence and weighs only about 250g. 

They were able to solve complex mechanical tests when a study was done on them, and both wild and captive-bred species showed the same rates of intelligence.

They are also the species in the cockatoo group with the shortest lifespan of about 25 years and their maximum capping at an approximate count of 65 years.

Galah Cockatoo (Eolophus roseicapilla)

One of the most elegant-looking ones in the club, the Galah cockatoo, also referred to as the rose-breasted cockatoo is well-known for its beautiful blush-toned plumage. 

They are most often found in Australia, where it is a common domesticated bird. 

They are very affectionate and loveable and like being attended to. They have high attention needs though if you are looking for a cuddle, they are not the bird to go to.

Wild galah cockatoos live for about 20 – 40 years while when they are taken proper care of in domestic conditions, they can live up to 80 years.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Just like many others in the cockatoo family, the sulfur-crested cockatoo, though commonly domesticated, is a very attention-demanding bird that loves to have the spotlight on them. 

Well-known for its beautifully fluttering yellow crown, the bird is highly intelligent and a commonly bred species.

The average lifespan expected from a domesticated sulfur-crested cockatoo is somewhere in the 20 – 40 range. They can, with the optimal environment and living conditions, thrive and live up to around 70 years.

Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)

Endemic to the Seram archipelago in Indonesia, the Moluccan cockatoo is also called the salmon-crested cockatoo for its white-pink feathers that have a peachy glow to them. 

They have a retractable crest that may come up in the excitement or extreme emotion, revealing the bright red-orange plumage underneath.

In domesticated situations, these cockatoos can live up to 70 years but if they are fending for themselves in the optimal condition of the wild forests, then it is raised up to 90 years.

This is unfortunately not the case as they are threatened by many environmental pollutants and other factors like predators and illnesses.

Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba)

More often known as the white cockatoo, it is a medium-sized, all-white cockatoo that is named after its wonderfully striking crest that appears when caught off-guard or surprised. 

They are extremely intelligent and energetic birds and have quite an impressive lifespan.

In captivity, they can live up to 60 years. Impressively though, some white cockatoos have lived to even 100 years – which means that they probably were alive when the world wars were happening. Now that’s what we call crazy!

Factors Affecting Cockatoo Lifespan: How You Can Help


The first and foremost factor is, of course, their diet. You should also seek to go beyond the basic diet plan of nuts and seeds and make sure that your cockatoo has a balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, berries, and other sources of protein. 

High-quality pellets, leafy greens, fruits like pears and grapes, etc should be involved regularly so your bird lives a happy and healthy life that is long and rewarding.

Environmental Conditions

Apart from that, their environmental conditions also play a big part as they have pretty vulnerable lungs and require good ventilation. 

Avoiding any sort of scented parasols or perfumes is also crucial to ensure they are not affected in any way. 

It is also a good idea to give your cockatoos some time out of the cage. This is a great way to boost them up mentally and physically and will give them a way to relieve themselves of any stress and just have some fun.


Lastly, they are highly demanding birds with incredible intelligence and so they need to exercise their brain quite often. 

Providing proper stimulation and challenging their brain is a crucial step to elongating their life by ensuring their health. 

Talk to them, sing to them, play tricks with them, and give them all the love and care you have. 

If they feel neglected, they might engage in destructive behavior, even going so far as plucking their own feathers because of the stress.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy of Cockatoos? How Do They Live So Long?

The average lifespan of wild cockatoos is 20-40 years while in captivity with optimal conditions, the number is raised to 40 – 70 years. There have even been cases where the birds have lived to 100 in captivity.

And as to the secret of their long lives, it is mainly because of their lower level of oxidation damage, which is also why you can see close to no phenotypic differences between a 40-year-old cockatoo and a juvenile cockatoo. 

Their diet also plays a huge role in maintaining this longevity as it is high in protein. They also have fast metabolism to digest their highly fibrous food, which should actually work against their life expectancy as the faster the metabolism, the faster the aging. But they have a mechanism where the oxidation process is greatly slowed to counteract this.

What Is The Oldest Cockatoo Ever?

While many of us were astonished by a captive white cockatoo that celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014, he is actually not the record holder for the longest life lived in the cockatoo club. 

The oldest was Cocky Benett, the cockatoo that lived to a whopping 120 years, from 1796 all the way to 1916! 

He was a well-loved pet owned by Captain Ellis who took Benett on his ship on most of his voyages. He was passed to the captain’s nephew on his passing and was a beloved and famous bird in their town.

In Conclusion,

That is the fascinating world of cockatoos and their impressive lifespans! 

They are one of the most fascinating birds to learn about as they are incredibly intelligent, curious, and communicative creatures. 

We hope you had a fun time traversing their world with us today!

Thank you for reading!

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