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The Lifespan of a Sulphur Crest Cockatoo

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Sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) are spirited and companionable parrots that hail from Australia. These mid-sized birds are favorites as pets for a variety of reasons, including both their skill for speaking and their generally loving and tender dispositions. If you bring a sulphur-crested cockatoo into your home, you may just be giving yourself a pal for life.

Lifespan as Pets

Sulphur-crested cockatoos that are maintained as pets in households typically have lifespans of around 65 years -- pretty impressive when compared to a cat or dog. In particularly fortunate and rare cases, sulphur-crested cockatoos can survive for upwards of 120 years.

Wild Lifespan

Not all sulphur-crested cockatoos are kept as pets, and many of them reside out in nature within their home range of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Freely roaming sulphur-crested cockatoos tend to have shorter lifespans than their captive friends -- think roughly 40 years. Occasionally, however, some of these lively parrots can even make it to an entire century.


If you are lucky enough to have a sulphur-crested cockatoo in your household, proper diet can go a long way in keeping your pet in good health for as long as possible. Nurture your cockatoo's potential longevity by feeding him foods that are specifically designed to manage his birdie nutritional demands, including commercial pellets for cockatoos, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and small amounts of seeds. Never offer your cockatoo any food or portion size until you have the "OK" of an avian veterinarian. A few examples of these birds' fresh produce favorites are corn, diced pineapples and grapes.

Veterinary Attention

Sulphur-crested cockatoos require veterinary checkups a minimum of once a year -- an important factor in promoting longevity. The sooner you find out about your priceless pet bird's possible ailment, the quicker a veterinarian can get to managing it. These cockatoos are especially prone to several medical problems, including avian fatty liver disease, the infectious bumblefoot and another serious viral condition -- psittacine beak and feather disease. If you ever spot any hints of illness in your pet, whether feather loss or drop in appetite, pencil in a vet appointment immediately.