Moluccan Cockatoo

 Cacatua moloucensis


Beaker was hatched 3:30 AM February 1st 1997 at Murray Creek Aviaries, Langley, BC, Canada.  Beak was lovingly hand raised and hand fed from that day forth.  Beaker is a female bird, as proved by the egg we found laid at the bottom of her cage in early 2005. Beaker was hatched with a congenital defect on her right foot that has made her 2 back gripping toes somewhat damaged and immovable. The average life span of a Moluccan cockatoo(M2) in captivity is estimated at 50-75-100 years.... yes, that is NOT a misprint!  The average size of this beautiful bird is 18-22 inches and about a kilogram in weight. These creatures are a life long, as well as after life long, commitment.  It was a hard decision to make when thinking of this life choice and how it would affect us all.  

These creatures often are obtained with the best of intentions only to find themselves in numerous other homes in their lives, causing MAJOR psychological trauma to these loving people-orientated birds. Self-mutilation is common with these creatures as they often turn their over zealous love maliciously inwards.  Beaker was lucky to be spared from this.  Her first owners, myself and my ex-husband separated abruptly when she only a year old. Left with little choice, with my ex-husband no where in sight, I turned Beak over to a parrot sanctuary. They took very good care of her and she fit in very well, much to my sadness. 6 weeks into her new home, I decided to visit her and bring some of her favorite things... grapes. After my visit and cuddle fest, I said another tearful goodbye and left for my small apartment. Not too much later I was contacted by the sanctuary staff saying that Beaker had not stopped 'crying' (literally a growl like consistent vocal pattern) since I had left - she was even starting to rip her feathers out. They knew, as I, that his best chance at a normal life would be to come back and live with her 'mom'. I gave up the space that a kitchen table would have occupied in this small apartment and took my baby back.  Beaker stopped her 'crying' immediately and hasn't cried since.

 M2's are the largest of the so called 'white' cockatoo's and are native to the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia.  M2's are salmon colored overall with darker yellow patches under their wings and tail. Their expressive crest rises to show a deep orange/peach patch. These cockatoo's are also known as one of the loudest, if not *THE* loudest cockatoo's. This fact must also be considered when deciding whether a M2 is appropriate for you.  These birds can deafen the most well intentioned person with their normal daily screaming routine. These birds in the wild will call to the rest of their 'flock' in order to get information on where everyone is, and this screaming must be tolerated daily for an average constant 15 minute period.  Stifling this normal behavior pattern -or- allowing these creatures to use screaming as an attention getting ploy cannot be tolerated and often leads to physiological & behavioral difficulties.

After saying all that, I must also state that M2's are the most cuddly, snuggly cockatoo's out there. Beaker will often climb onto an arm of a stranger and immediately throw her head into the persons chest to snuggle herself under their chin for a cuddle session. She truly is a lover not a fighter, even though her beak is enormously powerful and destructive.  I enjoy Beaker, even though sometimes, just like a child, she is trying on the nerves.

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About Keeping Moluccan's

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International Avicultural Society (IAS)

Last Updated

May 04, 2005 05:37 PM