Amazing White Bird With Mohawk (Photos & Key Facts)

Ever see a white bird with a Mohawk and wonder “what type of bird is that?” Well, I think we have a pretty definitive answer for you. Here goes:  a white cockatoo!

White Bird With Mohawk

The White Cockatoo 

Otherwise known as an umbrella cockatoo thanks to its distinctive head crest, the white cockatoo is a mid-sized white cockatoo that originated in the tropical rainforests of Indonesia.   

The “Mohawk” on its head has a semicircular shape, and it extends when the cockatoo is surprised or startled.  Their wings and tails are typically a pale yellow color.

The white cockatoo was first documented by Philipp Ludwig Statius Wuller, a German zoologist back in 1776. Its species name is “alba”, which is a feminine version of the Latin phrase “albus”, meaning white.  

Description Of The White Cockatoo

White cockatoos typically stand at around 28 inches in height, and they weigh approximately 14 ounces. Male white cockatoos typically feature a wider head and a larger beak than the females of the species.  

The beak of the white cockatoo is typically a dark gray color, whereas their eyes are either black or a very dark brown. 

When they get older, female cockatoos can sometimes develop a red color in their eyes, while the males eyes remain dark brown or black. 

Of course, the feathers of the white cockatoo are generally white, but sometimes the inner part of their tail feathers and the edge of their wing feathers are a pale yellow color. This yellowing on the underside of their wings is a noticeable feature.  

Similarly to other types of cockatoo and parrots, white cockatoos feature zygodactyl feet, meaning they have two toes that face forward and two that face backward. 

This allows the white cockatoo to grasp objects using one of their feet while standing upon the other.  

In the wild, it is not well understood how long white cockatoos can live.  In captivity, however, white cockatoos can live between 40 and 60 years.  

If you think these birds have a wacky hairstyle, just wait until you see our article on the 31 birds with the craziest hair.

Habitat Of The White Cockatoo 

The white cockatoo originally came from the tropical rainforest islands of Indonesia. They typically reside in lowland areas in the Moluccan islands. 

It was later introduced into Taiwan, where it can be found in forests, mangroves, plantations and agricultural land. They remain relatively common.  In the early 90s, the population of white cockatoos was estimated to be around 183,000.  

In Florida, USA, there are populations of the white cockatoo that have been documented in recent years. 

The white cockatoo tends to nest in hollowed out, large trees. They lay white eggs, usually in pairs. Their eggs have an incubation period of 28 days. 

Both male and female white cockatoos can incubate eggs. White cockatoo chicks typically leave their nest after approximately 84 days.  They become independent after 15 weeks or thereabouts.  

In the wild, white cockatoos are typically found singly, in pairs, or in small groups of fewer than 15. Although they are social birds, they do not build strong bonds with other birds, aside from their mating pairs.  

White cockatoos communicate with each other using a wide variety of different sounds and gestures.  

White Cockatoo Behavior 

White Cockatoo Behavior 

White cockatoos are a monogamous species, meating their pair up with a mate and stay together for life.  The males fan out their crests in a mating ritual to attract their mates. 

Once paired, they typically remove themselves from the flock and build a nest in the hollow of a large, tall tree. 

White cockatoos tend to scratch each other during mating sessions. They have also been observed to bang pieces of wood against trees to make a sound warning the other cockatoos that are on their territory.  

White cockatoos are known for making loud vocalizations, much like screeching or screaming. They can also hiss when they feel threatened or alarmed. 

What Do White Cockatoos Eat?

When found in the wild, white cockatoos can be found feeding on berries, nuts, seeds, and fruits.  When they are nesting, they have been documented to eat insect larvae and insects. 

Their favorite fruits include papayas and durian fruits.  White cockatoos living on agricultural land have been seen feeding on corn, which is why they are sometimes considered pests by farmers.  

When raised in captivity, their diets remain similar.  They are typically fed a parrot mix which contains a variety of seeds, nuts, vegetables, and dried fruits.  Some captive white cockatoos enjoy eating fresh vegetables.

White Cockatoos As Pets

White cockatoos are common pets because of their friendly and affectionate nature. They are able to build strong bonds with their owners, and they like physical touch and attention. 

They are also great pets because they can imitate human speech, much like parrots do. White cockatoos are intelligent birds, and they can be trained to do tricks.

Umbrella cockatoos are known for being noisy birds, which can cause a problem for some pet owners. They can also become very closely attached to their owners, and they can scream and cry when their owners aren’t around.  

Another common issue with keeping white cockatoos as pets is the fact that their feathers produce a talcum power-like substance called feather dust. This can create an allergic reaction in some people, and it can get all over your clothes.

When white cockatoos are kept as pets, they would normally raise their crests or their “Mohawks” in surprise at a new toy, new person, or anything else that is new or interesting to them. 

White cockatoos were a popular pet in China in the era of the Tang dynasty.  


If you’ve seen a white bird with a Mohawk, it is more than likely a white cockatoo, and it is more than likely someone’s pet.  

White cockatoos are fascinating creatures. They are incredibly intelligent animals with a very long lifespan, and they make fantastic pets for people due to the close bond they can build with humans.  

We hope that we have taught you something you didn’t know before about these white, Mohawked birds.