Eleonora Cockatoos aka Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoos, Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

The Eleonora Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita eleonora) is a sub-species of the greater sulfur-crested cockatoo. This cockatoo is native to the Aru Islands in the province of Maluku in eastern Indonesia.

Its natural habitat includes the Savannah, scrub, mallee and woodland. They tend to stay close to water and are usually seen in flocks, except during breeding season when they stay in pairs.

These parrots are naturally curious, as well as very intelligent. A 2009 study involving an Eleonora Cockatoo found that Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are capable of synchronizing movements to a musical beat.

  • Please refer to this YouTube video for Snowball’s amazing abilities. Scientists have documented 17 dance moves so far.


White body; sulfur crest; pale yellow under wings, tail and around ears; light blue eye ring; iris color changes from pale gray to black (males) or red-brown (female) after the second year.

Length: 15-18 inches; Weight: 275-475 grams; Life span: 40+ years


The Eleanora Cockatoo reaches sexual maturity at 3 years old. The hen incubates her eggs for about 28 days. The young wean at 14 to 16 weeks.

Pet Qualities:

Hand-fed cockatoos make exceptionally loving pets. They are both friendly and intelligent, and are very social, affectionate creatures.

Joao describes his pet cockatoo featured to the right as follows:

“He really is an adorable pet. Cockatoos certainly demand attention, however, the Galerita Eleonora sub-species tends to be less needy and more independent. I sure do give mine attention, but only in the evenings. He is fine with his toys during the day. I live in an apartment,. There were never complaints from neighbors. You just have to establish limits from an early stage and be strong about them. Also don’t give more attention in the beginning than you will be able to on a regular basis. They learn fast and will respect the rules. Give them lots of love when you can, establish when you can’t, house them properly and they make wonderful pets.”

Eleanora cockatoos may be less prone to developing behavioral problems such as feather plucking and screaming

They are natural chewers, and as such should be provided with branches or strips of wood to satisfy this strong urge.

Some birds can be quite noisy, especially during the early morning and evening hours. These birds are very affectionate and playful, and can readily be taught to perform tricks. Its talking ability is considered good.

Other Relevant Web Resources:

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds

Beautyofbirds.com'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.