MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO COLORS AND MARKINGS
The colorful Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is primarily a pinkish-white and very easy to recognize. These flashy birds have broad pink patches around the neck and on the underbelly. They often have bold pink under their white-tipped wings.
The crest is often the first thing people notice about this bird. When extended, you’ll see bright pink and yellow-orange feathers with white at the tips.
The males tend to be brighter than the females, though the females have more orange in their crest. While the males have brown eyes, they’re more of a reddish-pink color on females. Both sexes have gray feet and horn-colored beaks.
CARING FOR MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOO
While it can be tempting to rush out and buy one of these beautiful birds, Major Mitchell’s cockatoos need specialized care and environments that not all bird owners can accommodate. It’s best if they live in a walk-in cage that is at least 14-foot in length. This allows the medium-sized bird plenty of room to move.
In addition to needing a large cage, Major Mitchell’s cockatoos are loud vocalizers. They probably aren’t suited to live in apartments or other close quarters.
These are high-maintenance, sensitive birds, so if you’re planning to take one as a pet, prepare to spend a lot of time interacting with them. Cockatoos and other birds in captivity that are neglected may resort to destructive behaviors.
Some Major Mitchell’s owners have reported that they were even shunned by their bird after taking a short vacation. They also admit that it took time to earn the bird’s trust again, so keep in mind that this can be a very temperamental species.
FEEDING MAJOR MITCHELL’S COCKATOOS
Like all cockatoos, Major Mitchell’s may struggle with weight gain. It is important that owners monitor their fat intake. High-quality pellets, a moderate amount of seed mix, and daily helpings of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed are the ideal diet for these birds.
They tend to enjoy green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard as well as carrots, celery, corn, green beans, and zucchini. Many also enjoy nuts, including hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts.
Just like its fellow members of the parrot family, Major Mitchell’s cockatoos are active birds that need plenty of exercise to maintain their physical condition. They need a minimum of three to four hours outside of the cage every day to stretch their wings.
A smart owner will provide a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo with safe chew toys to exercise their beaks on. These birds chew wood to make nests in the wild and will display that same behavior in captivity if they get bored or restless.
It’s a good idea to regularly give your bird untreated elder, fir, pine, or willow wood pieces or toys. Leather toys and even heat-sterilized pine cones are favorites for these birds as well. Also, keep in mind that these cockatoos really like water, so a watering bowl to bathe in and a mister will be very well appreciated by your pet.