Bare-eyed or Little Corella Cockatoo

The Little Corella, Cacatua sanguinea – sometimes referred to as the bare-eyed cockatoo – is endemic to Eastern, North-western and Northern Australia.

It is so common in its natural habitat that it has become something of a pest throughout much of Australia, as it can be destructive to the trees in which it perches by chewing the bark off smaller twigs.

The Little Corella congregates in flocks of up to several thousand birds, which often include many Galahs.

These cockatoos generally roosts in trees overnight, and fly off to feed in the early morning with an almost deafening screeching. It mostly feeds on the ground, eating seeds including cereal crops such as wheat and barley.

They can live 50 years or longer; however, most succumb to accidents or disease.  

Roseate Cockatoo

Little Corella


The general plumage is white with a very short broad crest. The lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and base of the feathers to the head, nape (back of the neck), breast and back are orange-pink.

The ear-coverts and feathers above the eyes are tinged dusky-yellow. The underside of the tail-feathers and wings are washed with yellow. The bill is greyish-horn color and elongated.

The narrow periophthalmic ring is bluish-grey, extending to the upper cheeks. They have dark brown irides (= plural of iris) and grey feet.

Males and females look alike, except males tend to  be larger than females and have larger heads and beaks. Immature / young birds look like adults, but have a shorter bill and their periophthalmic ring is less blue.


Average length: 15 inches (36 to 40 cm); range between 14 to 17 inches.  Wing length 11.5 – 13 inches (288 – 330 mm). 

Weight:    10.6 – 16 oz (300-430 grams)

Little Corellas

Mixed Pair of Corella Cockatoos: one little corella and one long-billed corella

Training and Behavioral Guidance:

Bare-eyed Cockatoos are less demanding and noisy than most of the other cockatoo species, and are loved for their clowny, affectionate personality.

Just like the goffins cockatoos, they make a good choice for people who would like a cockatoo that is somewhat easier to accommodate than the larger species. This does not, however, mean that keeping them caged all day without much attention is acceptable.

There are many bare-eyed cockatoos in captivity who have developed severe behavioral problems under such sad conditions. They are loving and playful, and should be an integral participant in family life. This is not a “cage bird” – but a fun and extremely loving companion for the right bird owner.

Talking in general terms, cockatoos certainly demand a lot of attention, but are appreciated for their exceptionally loving, devoted personality that is second to none.

Cockatoos require an extremely dedicated owner who is willing to provide significant and meaningful attention to these intelligent parrots.

They require consistent training from a young age to ensure potential cockatoo owners enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits.

Corella Cockatoo at a bird beeder in Australia

Other Relevant Web Resources:


Genus: English: White Black-billed Cockatoos … Dutch: Wit and Zwartsnavelkakatoes … German: Eigentliche Kakadus … French: Cacatoès

Species: Scientific: Cacatua sanguinea sanguinea aka Cacatua pastinator sanguina … English: Little Corella, Bare-eyed Cockatoos … Dutch: Naaktoog Kakatoe … German: Nacktaugenkakadu, Rotzügelkakadu … French: Petit corella, Cacatoès à oeil nu

CITES II – Endangered Species

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: normantoni, sanguinea

Little Corellas
Bare-eyed Cockatoo
Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.
Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.