Bare-Eyed Cockatoo (Complete Specie Profile for Potential Owners)

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Ali Shahid

The Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, also called the Little Corella (scientific name: Cacatua sanguinea), is a fascinating bird that brings together the charm of a pet and the wild spirit of its native homes in Australia and Southern New Guinea. These birds are known for being lively and having a distinct blue ring around their eyes, which makes them stand out from other cockatoo types. 

As pets, they are loved for being friendly and affectionate, often becoming important members of the family. In the wild, they can adapt and thrive in various places, from deserts to urban areas. If you’re thinking about getting a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo as a pet, it’s good to know that the typical price in the US is between $1,000 and $2,000. 

Trustworthy places to buy these birds include specialized bird stores and breeders who offer healthy, hand-raised parrots, ensuring a smooth transition to domestic life. With their playful behavior and loving nature, Bare-Eyed Cockatoos make for a delightful but substantial commitment that lasts a lifetime.

Bare-Eyed Cockatoo

General Overview of Bared-Eyed Cockatoo

FeatureDescription
Common NameBare-Eyed Cockatoo, Little Corella
Scientific NameCacatua sanguinea
OriginAustralia and Southern New Guinea
Size14 to 17 inches in length
Weight300 to 530 grams (10.6 to 18.5 oz)
ColoringPrimarily white with touches of salmon-pink on the face, blue ring around the eye
PersonalitySocial, playful, intelligent, goofy, clownish
Beginner-FriendlyNo, best for experienced bird owners due to their need for attention and care
Talking AbilityGood; one of the better talking cockatoos
Care LevelHigh; requires significant time commitment and mental stimulation
Breeding AgeTypically 4 to 6 years
Clutch SizeUsually 2 to 3 eggs
As PetsRanges from $800 to $5,000, with an average cost of around $1,000
Lifespan20 to 60 years, with some living up to 70-80 years
PriceRanges from $800 to $5,000, with an average cost around $1,000
Places to BuySpecialized bird stores, breeders, online retailers like Golden Cockatoo and Parrot Stars
IUCN StatusLeast Concern; The population thought to be increasing

Physical Description

The Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is a medium-sized bird mainly white with a hint of salmon-pink on their faces. They sport horn-colored beaks and distinctive gray-blue patches around their eyes, giving them a unique appearance. Despite the slightly sleepy look created by the blue eye rings, these birds are quite lively and social. Both males and females look the same, with males being a bit larger and having slightly bigger eye patches. Typically, adults reach an average length of 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 centimeters) and can weigh up to 1 pound (500 grams).

On the flip side, Goffin’s Cockatoo is a smaller species, with an average size of 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length and a weight of 11 ounces (300 grams). They are entirely white, featuring black feet and a gray beak. A distinctive pink spot between the eye and the beak sets them apart. Additionally, there’s a subtle yellow tint on the underside of the tail and wings.

In comparison, the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is a bit larger than the Goffin’s Cockatoo. Both birds are primarily white, but the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo stands out with its blue eye ring, which the Goffin’s Cockatoo lacks. The Goffin’s Cockatoo, however, has a more rounded and chubby appearance compared to the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo. Both species are known for being playful and sociable, but the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is recognized for its ability to mimic speech, making it one of the best-talking cockatoos. On the other hand, Goffin’s Cockatoo is celebrated for its energetic and clownish behavior.

Habitat and Distribution

The Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is originally from Australia and Southern New Guinea. These birds can adapt to a variety of environments, ranging from arid deserts to coastal plains. You won’t typically find them in dense forests, but they thrive in riverine woodlands near grasslands and agricultural regions. Interestingly, they may venture into cultivated areas, sometimes causing damage to crops. Their adaptability extends to urban areas and places inhabited by humans, where they’re often spotted feeding on lawns and playing fields.

These birds are not just resilient but also intelligent, making the most out of their surroundings. The Little Corella is a nomadic species, moving around based on the availability of food and water. They’re social creatures, forming large flocks that can include several thousand individuals. It’s common to see them hanging out with other cockatoo species like galahs, sulfur-crested cockatoos, and red-tailed black cockatoos. At night, they roost in trees and head to feeding areas during the early morning and late evening.

When it comes to their diet, these birds have a varied menu, including seeds, grains, nuts, fruits, and different plant parts. With their increasing population and adaptability to disturbed habitats, the Little Corella showcases not only resilience but also a clever ability to navigate the human-influenced world.

Behavior and Temperament

Social and Playful Nature

Bare-Eyed Cockatoos are renowned for their playful and clownish personalities, making them incredibly social birds that thrive on interaction. They prefer being out of their cages, actively engaging with their owners. Their entertaining and affectionate behavior forms strong bonds with their human families, turning them into delightful companions.

Intelligence and Problem-Solving Skills

These cockatoos go beyond playfulness; they exhibit notable intelligence and problem-solving skills. Studies with Goffin’s cockatoos, a closely related species, have revealed their ability to craft tools from materials to obtain food, demonstrating foresight and behavioral flexibility. This intelligence translates into the Bare-Eyed Cockatoos’ capacity to learn tricks and participate in intricate play activities.

Vocalization and Talking Ability

While not the most talkative parrots, Bare-Eyed Cockatoos can be quite vocal and are considered adept at mimicking human speech patterns. Although their vocalizations may include loud screeches, which may not be suitable for noise-sensitive environments, their ability to communicate and imitate sounds can bring joy to owners seeking a chatty companion.

Pros and Cons of Bare-Eyed Cockatoos as Pets

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Engaging and Sociable: Bare-Eyed Cockatoos are renowned for their engaging and sociable nature, making them lively companions.Loud: These birds are recognized for their loud calls, which can be challenging for owners, particularly those in apartments or close proximity to neighbors.
Intelligent: They are smart birds with impressive problem-solving abilities. They can learn tricks and engage in intricate play.Potential for Damage: Bare-Eyed Cockatoos have a natural inclination to chew and can cause damage if not given suitable outlets for this behavior.
Mimicry Skills: They are among the better-talking cockatoos and can imitate human speech patterns.Significant Time Requirement: These birds need at least 3-4 hours of quality interaction daily, which can be a substantial commitment for potential owners.
Versatile: They can flourish in a wide range of environments, from arid deserts to coastal plains, and even in urban areas and agricultural zones.Not Suitable for Beginners: Due to their need for social interaction, mental stimulation, and exercise, Bare-Eyed Cockatoos are often recommended for experienced bird owners.
Longevity: With appropriate care, these birds can live for 20 to 60 years, with some living up to 70-80 years.Health Risks: They are prone to certain health issues, including nutritional deficiencies, metal ingestion, and feather plucking.

Diet and Nutrition

Wild Diet

In their natural habitat, Bare-Eyed Cockatoos, also known as Little Corellas, sustain themselves with a diet comprising seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, and insect larvae. While they predominantly feed on the ground, these birds also forage in trees and shrubbery, enjoying a varied diet that provides essential nutrients for their well-being in the wild.

Captivity Diet

Maintaining the health of a pet Bare-Eyed Cockatoo requires a balanced diet. A minimum of 50 percent of their food should come from a high-quality formulated pellet mix. Alongside pellets, owners should provide a fresh vegetable mix incorporating leafy greens, root vegetables, and fresh fruit. While nuts like almonds and walnuts can serve as training treats, caution is necessary due to their high-fat content. Starting with 1/4 cup of pellets and 1/4 cup of fruits and vegetables daily, adjustments can be made as needed.

Importance of Controlled Feeding

Bare-eyed cockatoos have a predisposition to obesity, emphasizing the importance of controlling their diet. Overfeeding can lead to selective feeding, wasteful food throwing, and health problems like obesity. Monitoring food intake is crucial to ensure the bird doesn’t consume excess calories or high-fat foods such as sunflower seeds. A controlled diet encompassing fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and seeds is recommended to maintain their well-being.

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods pose a risk to Bare-Eyed Cockatoos and should be strictly avoided. These include chocolate, avocado, and rhubarb. Additionally, acidic items like lemon and lime, as well as milk due to lactose intolerance, should be omitted from their diet. Large quantities of high-fat human foods should also be avoided. By offering a well-balanced diet while steering clear of toxic and unhealthy foods, owners contribute to the overall health and longevity of their Bare-Eyed Cockatoos.

Health and Common Conditions


Cockatoos, including the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, are recognized for their resilience and ability to adapt to diverse conditions. They can thrive in environments ranging from arid deserts to urban areas and agricultural zones. Despite their adaptability, these birds are prone to specific health concerns, such as nutritional deficiencies, metal ingestion, and feather plucking.

Nutritional deficiencies can arise from an unbalanced diet, especially when cockatoos consume excessive peanuts and sunflower seeds, which are high in fat but lacking in essential nutrients like vitamin A. A well-rounded diet for cockatoos should include a proper mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and seeds contribute to a balanced nutritional intake.

Metal ingestion is a potential health risk for cockatoos, often resulting from their chewing habits. Ingesting metals can pose health problems, emphasizing the need for caution in their environment.

Feather plucking is a prevalent issue among cockatoos and may signal stress, boredom, or unhappiness. Poor diet and insufficient social interaction can also contribute to this behavior. Addressing feather plucking promptly is crucial, as it can escalate into self-mutilation.

To ensure the well-being of a cockatoo, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet, ample social interaction, and a stimulating environment. Regular veterinary check-ups play a crucial role in monitoring their health and identifying potential issues early on.

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeding behaviors, compatibility, nesting preferences, and egg incubation details vary significantly among different bird species. Here, we’ll explore these aspects of the Bare-Eyed Cockatoo and Goffin’s Cockatoo.

Bare-Eyed Cockatoo: Bare-Eyed Cockatoos may start breeding at 3 years, typically beginning around 4-6 years. They require a spacious cage due to their active nature. Male aggression towards mates is common, and precautions like wing clipping may be taken. They favor nesting in tree hollows, typically in large, mature trees. Once paired, they collaboratively prepare the nest cavity. The female lays a clutch of one to three oval-shaped, white eggs. Incubation lasts 21-27 days, and fledging occurs 70-80 days after hatching.

Goffin’s Cockatoo: Goffin’s Cockatoos are friendly, entertaining, and intelligent birds that form strong bonds with their owners, necessitating daily interaction for mental and emotional well-being. Similar to Bare-Eyed Cockatoos, males can display aggression towards mates. In North America, Goffin’s cockatoos predominantly breed in winter and spring, laying clutches of two to three eggs. Compatibility varies between individual birds, and caution is advised when housing different species together. Safety and happiness should guide decisions when considering adding another bird to the household.

Understanding these specific characteristics of each species aids in providing optimal care and creating a suitable environment for successful breeding and overall bird well-being.

Care and Maintenance

Cage Requirements

For a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, a spacious, durable, and secure cage is essential. The recommended minimum size is 24x24x36 inches, but larger cages are preferable. The cage should have different diameter perches and a few toys, avoiding overcrowding. Given their tendency to chew, wooden chews are crucial to satisfy their natural chewing instincts. Regular cleaning, with daily changes to cage paper, is important for hygiene.

Daily Interaction and Mental Stimulation

Bare-eyed cockatoos, being social birds, require daily interaction with their owners. Mental stimulation is crucial to prevent boredom and behavioral issues. Supplying non-toxic wood or cardboard bird-safe toys keeps them entertained. Early exposure to various experiences helps them adapt well to different people, events, and situations, contributing to their overall well-adjusted behavior.

Exercise Needs and Role of Toys and Playtime

These active birds need daily supervised playtime outside their cage to maintain physical health. Toys play a vital role in providing both mental stimulation and physical exercise. Bird-safe toys, ladders, and objects like bells can keep them engaged. Rotating toys and having a play stand outside the cage enhance their play experience. Recognizing each bird’s uniqueness and preferences is crucial. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring their health and detecting potential issues early on.

Challenges and Considerations for Owners


Time Commitment

Caring for a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo demands a substantial time commitment. These birds need a minimum of 3-4 hours of dedicated time daily. This includes periods outside the cage for exercise, social interaction, feeding, cleaning, and training. Lack of attention can lead to depression or behavioral problems, emphasizing the importance of consistent interaction.

Noise and Destructive Behavior

Bare-eyed cockatoos are recognized for their loud vocalizations, including screeches and mimicry. Managing this noise can be challenging, particularly in apartments or close living conditions. Their natural chewing inclination may lead to destructive behavior if not provided with appropriate outlets. Offering a range of bird-safe toys helps address this tendency.

Suitability for Experienced Bird Owners

Due to their demanding needs for social interaction, mental stimulation, and exercise, Bare-Eyed Cockatoos are often recommended for experienced bird owners. The commitment of time and resources is substantial, and their care can be intricate. Prospective owners should thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements of these birds before deciding to bring one into their home.

Average Price and Places to Buy Bare-Eyed Cockatoo


The average price of a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo in the US can vary significantly based on the seller. Here’s a range of prices from different sources:

  • Golden Cockatoo: $4,999.99
  • Parrot Stars: $3,000 for a female Bare-Eyed Cockatoo
  • Ana’s Parrots: $2,200
  • All Pet Birds: Suggests an average cost of $1,000
  • Terry’s Parrot Farm and Timies Birds: Both list the price at $800
  • Hyacinth Bird Farm: $1,500

These prices indicate that the cost of a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo can range from approximately $800 to $5,000, with the average likely falling somewhere in the middle of this range. As for purchasing a Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, various online stores and bird farms sell them, including Golden Cockatoo, Parrot Stars, Ana’s Parrots, Terry’s Parrot Farm, Timies Birds, and Hyacinth Bird Farm. It’s crucial to ensure that the seller is reputable and provides proper care for the birds. Potential buyers should consider visiting the location in person, if feasible, to assess the living conditions of the birds.

Conclusion

The Bare-Eyed Cockatoo is an enchanting and intelligent bird, celebrated for its unique appearance and friendly nature. However, owning one requires a committed owner capable of providing a spacious cage, a balanced diet, and consistent daily interaction. These birds, with their need for mental stimulation and physical activity, aren’t ideal for casual pet ownership. 

Prospective owners should be ready for the time commitment and potential challenges, including noise and the necessity for environmental enrichment. While they can bring joy to a household, ensuring their welfare demands a level of care and attention best suited for experienced bird enthusiasts.

Author

  • Dr. Sajjad Ali

    Dr. Sajjad is an Avian expert and loves to treat and help parrots. He has two years of clinical experience in treating and helping parrots as a vet.

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