There are 21 parrots that belong to the cockatoo family, with a further 44 sub-species. While all of them differ in appearance, cockatoos are much-loved for their prominent crests, curved bills, and fun personalities, making them one of the most popular pet parrots. As a result, you may be wondering: how much does it cost for a cockatoo?
The average price of a cockatoo is $2,000 to $4,000. Many cockatoos are rare and endangered in the wild, hence why they’re expensive. The cost of a cockatoo ranges from $80 for a cockatiel to $40,000 for a red-tailed black. Other costs include a large cage, food, toys, perches, and vet care/insurance.
Before you buy a cockatoo, bear in mind that cockatoos require high levels of care and attention and plenty of out-of-cage time. They also vocalize frequently, so they’re not suited to apartments. There are quieter parrots to own.
How Much Does A Cockatoo Cost?
If you want to own a cockatoo, you’ll be wondering how much do cockatoos go for? The price of cockatiels varies based on the type of cockatoo you want as a pet, but the average cost depends on:
- Hereditary diseases
- Breeder’s reputation
- Ability to talk
- Unique marks or features
Older cockatoos are more expensive because they’re trained and socialized. Many also talk, making them more attractive pets. While the price of a baby cockatoo is lower because they lack training and socialization skills, choosing a young cockatoo allows you to build a better bond.
Cockatoo Price List
If you’re still ready to commit, the average cost of a cockatoo is as follows:
|Cockatoo Species||Average Price (USD)|
|Abbotti||Unavailable – endangered|
|Bare-Eyed||$1,000 – $2,000|
|Blue-Eyed||$8,000 – $10,000|
|Citron-Crested||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Cockatiel||$80 – $250|
|Galah||$700 – $3,000|
|Gang Gang||$1,400 – $1,800|
|Goffin’s||$1,000 – $2,000|
|Major Mitchell’s||$5,000 – $6,500|
|Moluccan||$1,000 – $2,000|
|Palm||$15,000 - $23,000|
|Red-Tailed Black||$15,000 - $40,000|
|Slender-Billed||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Sulphur-Crested||$2,000 – $4,000|
|Triton||$1,500 – $3,000|
|Umbrella||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Yellow-Tailed Black||$7,500 – $15,000|
What Should I Expect To Pay For A Cockatoo?
Let’s look at what the most popular cockatoos cost and why:
The Abbotti is the rarest cockatoo in the world. The species is only found on Masakambing island, deep in the Java sea. Today, there are estimated to be between a paltry 17 to 22 individuals left, making them endangered.
There are so few numbers because of deforestation and early settlers trapping them as souvenirs. They were also regularly shot and killed for food. As a result, you won’t find them for sale in the pet industry.
Also known as the little corella, the bare-eyed cockatoo is a smaller species. Because of this, it’s considered an easier pet to care for, even though it’s not as popular. It’s also less expensive, retailing for $1,000 to $2,000.
Bare-eyed cockatoos are sweet and loving birds that enjoy interacting with their owners outside their cage. They’re also one of the best talking cockatoos if they’re adequately trained from a young age.
Blue-eyed cockatoos are extremely rare, which is why they can cost up to $10,000. However, while they’re hard to find, they make good pets.
They enjoy being handled and become very cuddly towards owners they’re bonded with. However, if they don’t get enough attention, they can become vocal. Due to their bright blue eyes and pure-white plumage, they’re highly sought-after birds.
Citron-crested cockatoos are expensive (about $3,000 to $4,000) because they’re endangered. However, they make popular pets because they:
- Have a big personality
- Are quieter than larger parrots
- Enjoy attention and affection
Sadly, the citron-crested cockatoo is prone to psittacosis (parrot fever). Symptoms of the condition include lethargy, eye discharge, and respiratory problems. According to the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, parrot fever is zoonotic, meaning you can catch it.
While it’s easily treated with antibiotics, the cost of veterinary care isn’t cheap. This is something you must factor into the overall cost of your cockatoo.
Cockatiels are considered smaller cockatoos. However, they’re much smaller, reaching only 14 inches in size. They’re also much cheaper than other cockatoos because of their size, ranging between $80 to $250, making them one of the most popular parrot pets.
On the whole, cockatiels are easy to tame and care for. They’re also available in a range of color mutations. While cockatiels are found in most pet stores, you must inquire about the bird’s history to ensure it has no apparent health or behavioral conditions. Here’s our complete cockatiel care guide.
Also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoos vary widely in price depending on where you buy them. In the U.S., they’ll fetch close to $3,000. Galah cockatoos can live for up to 70 years in captivity.
Gang Gang Cockatoo
Gang gang cockatoos are the clowns of the parrot world. They’re lively and goofy, providing hours of entertainment. The gang gang cockatoo costs $1,400 to $1,800.
Although not the most common cockatoo pets, they perform tricks and silly dances. Because of their high energy levels, they need plenty of out-of-cage exercise.
The Goffin’s cockatoo is one of the species’ smaller birds, costing an average of $1,000 to $2,000. They’re predominantly white with a light salmon-colored hue around the eyes and beak.
They enjoy being handled and petted. They’re also quick learners and are budding escape artists. Goffin’s cockatoos can become needy, so most require training to prevent bad habits.
Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Also known as the yellow-crested cockatoo, lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos are medium-sized white cockatoos with a yellow or orange crest. Despite the name, they’re a different species to the sulphur-crested cockatoo.
They’re relatively small, docile cockatoos, but they can be loud as they attempt to mimic human speech. For that reason, they’re not suited to apartments.
Mature male cockatoos are known for being unpredictable biters, but both males and females enjoy cuddling with their owners. They’re not prone to many health conditions. Expect to find one for around $1,500.
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo
Major Mitchell’s cockatoos are relatively rare, which is why they’re more expensive, with an average price tag of $5,000 to $6,500. Some can fetch as much as $10,000, but only if they have distinctive features.
Breeders commonly sell them, but they’re also found through adoption agencies where their owners can’t provide the specialized care they need.
They’re native to inland Australia and are the only cockatoo species with a multi-colored crest, boasting bright pink and yellow-orange feathers. The rest of the plumage is pinkish-white, making them recognizable against other cockatoos. Males are more colorful than females, so they’re more expensive.
Also known as the salmon-crested cockatoo, Moluccan cockatoos are rare in the wild, but they’re easy to find in captivity due to successful breeding programs. Moluccans are popular parrots due to their rosy pink plumage and friendly nature and come with a price tag between $1,000 to $2,000
However, despite not being too expensive, they’re large birds that need space. They can also become attached to their owners, so they need someone who has time to show affection.
Also known as the black palm, goliath, and great black cockatoo, the palm cockatoo is one of the world’s most expensive cockatoo species because they’re difficult to breed. There are very few of them in the world. If you want one, expect to pay between $15,000 to $23,000.
In fact, palm cockatoos are endangered, so they’re only really found in the pet industry. This means that they’ve become highly sought-after, which has pushed the average price.
Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo
This large, black cockatoo is native to Australia. They’re in danger of extinction, with only 1,500 birds left in the wild. As a result, they can be as expensive as $40,000.
Though rare, they’re highly sought-after as pets. They’re much quieter than most other cockatoos and have a calm, goofy personality. If you get one from a young age, you can train them to become cuddly and affectionate. They can live from 50 to 100 years.
Slender-billed cockatoos, or the long-billed corella, are often overlooked as pets because they don’t have colorful crests like other cockatoo species do. However, they’re charming, endearing, and good talkers.
They’re also relatively independent and don’t crave the affection of their needier cousins. This makes them a good pet for people who have less time to spare getting them out of their cage. However, they still require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They cost $3,000 to $4,000.
Sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) are large parrots native to Australia, New Guinea, and some Indonesian islands. They’re one of the most popular choices, costing around $2,000 to $4,000.
Sadly, sulphur-crested cockatoos are commonly abandoned by owners who can’t care for them. Because they’re large birds, they require plenty of exercise and don’t do well with owners who are out of the house all the time. Similarly, they’re noisy and can make ear-splitting sounds.
The triton is a sub-species of sulphur-crested cockatoo that lives in New Guinea. They’re slightly cheaper, ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. They make affectionate, playful, and loving pets, but they can become destructive and noisy if they’re deprived of attention.
They’re more active than Moluccan and umbrella cockatoos, which is ideal for owners who want a fun and entertaining pet. They’re slightly more affordable than sulphur-crested cockatoos as they’re not quite as popular.
The umbrella cockatoo is one of the most popular and least expensive pet cockatoo species. They’re commonly bred in captivity, making them easy to find in pet shops.
The price varies, but expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 for an umbrella cockatoo. Other names for the umbrella cockatoo include the white cockatoo and the great-white crested cockatoo.
Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed black cockatoos are expensive, costing between $7,500 to $15,000 on average. That’s because they’re vulnerable in the wild. They’re one of the most distinctive cockatoos, with yellow cheek and tail panels. The rest of the plumage is completely black.
How Much Does A Cockatoo’s Cage Cost?
The cost of a cockatoo cage depends on how big the bird is. For example, cockatiels get away with a smaller cage than sulphur-crested cockatoos.
However, the smallest your cockatoo’s cage should be is 20 inches (wide) x 20 inches (long) x 24 inches (high). This equates to 50cm x 50cm x 60cm.
Medium-sized cages start from around $200, whereas large cages cost between $400 to $500. The best quality cages can cost $1,000 or more.
The cage is one of the most important things you need for your cockatoo, so it must be the right size. Otherwise, your parrot could become stressed and unwell.
What’s The Average Cockatoo Food Price?
The average cockatoo food bill is size-dependent. However, you should budget between $20 to $40 per month on food and treats for your cockatoo. For a large cockatoo, you should expect to pay $480 a year for food.
What’s The Annual Cost Of Owning A Cockatoo?
While it’s difficult to say exactly how much your cockatoo will cost you each year, these figures are a good guide:
- Food: $240 – $480
- Cleaning materials: $120 – $240
- Routine vet check-ups: $85
- Toys: $100
Alongside these costs, you’ll need to factor in unexpected vet bills or insurance and wear and tear on the cage.
A cockatoo is a loving and affectionate pet. Given the high cost of a cockatoo, only buy from a reputable dealer who has the relevant paperwork. As described by PLOS One, the illegal pet trade is a significant threat to wildlife, so steer clear of any parrot you believe has been stolen from the wild. Take particular care with the rarer cockatoo species.