Goffin Cockatoo Parrot (Complete Specie Profile)

Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by Ali Shahid

The Goffin Cockatoo Parrot, also known as the Tanimbar Corella, stands out as a delightful bird celebrated for its playful intelligence. Despite its status as one of the smaller members of the cockatoo family, this parrot exudes charm and vitality, often delighting its owners with a repertoire of tricks and entertaining antics. 

Its physical allure is equally captivating, featuring a predominantly white body adorned with salmon-colored feathers around the eyes and beak, along with a touch of yellow on the undersides of its wings and tail feathers.

Originating from the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia, these birds thrive in tropical, wooded areas. Their adaptability and endurance have turned them into sought-after pets globally, providing joy and companionship to their owners. However, maintaining their well-being requires dedicated care, encompassing mental stimulation and regular physical interaction.

Whether you’re an experienced bird enthusiast or a first-time parrot owner, the Goffin Cockatoo Parrot’s engaging demeanor and enchanting appearance make it an excellent choice as a pet. Nevertheless, their care demands attention, necessitating an understanding of their specific needs and behaviors to ensure a joyful and healthy life for these extraordinary birds.

Goffin Cockatoo Parrot

Native Region and Natural Habitat

The Goffin Cockatoo originates from the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia, specifically inhabiting the forests of Yamdena, Selaru, and Larat, all within the Maluku province. Additionally, this species has been discovered in New Guinea. 

Its natural habitat primarily encompasses tropical forests and their peripheries, and it is exclusively native to these areas, indicating a unique association with this particular geographical region.

Regrettably, the Goffin Cockatoo faces threats to its natural habitat due to deforestation and the bird trade, resulting in a decline in its wild population. Despite these challenges, the species demonstrates successful breeding in captivity, contributing to a substantial agricultural population. 

This adaptability to captive conditions provides a ray of hope for the conservation of the Goffin Cockatoo amid the challenges posed by habitat loss and trade activities.

Physical Appearance and Size

The Goffin Cockatoo also recognized as the Tanimbar Corella, charms enthusiasts with its small yet captivating demeanor and intelligent disposition. Its predominantly white plumage is enhanced by salmon-colored feathers around the eyes and beak, with a subtle yellowish hue on the undersides of its wing and tail feathers, contributing to its distinctive appearance.

Measuring approximately 31 cm (12 inches) from head to tail and weighing between 250-300 grams (8.8-10.6 ounces), the Goffin Cockatoo may be one of the smaller white cockatoos, but it boasts a significant bird personality. Renowned for its active and lively nature, this parrot thrives in a roomy cage equipped with an array of toys for mental stimulation.

Despite its resemblance to the bare-eyed cockatoo in size and appearance, the Goffin Cockatoo stands out for its family-oriented disposition, making it a delightful and sociable addition to various households. This distinguishing trait sets it apart from other cockatoo species, as it is less prone to becoming exclusively attached to a single person.

Goffin Cockatoo Variations

The Goffin Cockatoo presents a predominantly white plumage adorned with subtle touches of light salmon or pink encircling their beaks and around the eyes. This salmon hue is also evident near the head when the bird displays its crest, and there’s a slight yellow undertone on the undersides of the tail and wings.

Contrary to some sources mentioning a “Pink Goffin Cockatoo,” it’s essential to clarify that there is no distinct variation or subspecies by that name. The pink coloration referenced in various accounts pertains to the natural coloring of the Goffin Cockatoo itself and doesn’t denote a separate type.

It’s noteworthy that other cockatoo species exhibit more extensive pink coloration. Examples include the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo or pink cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri), featuring a unique blend of white and salmon-pink hues, and the rose-breasted cockatoo (Eolophus roseicapilla), distinguished by its pink and grey color palette.

Behavior and Temperament

Goffin Cockatoos stand out for their playful, curious, and energetic disposition. Despite their smaller size, these birds possess a substantial social and affectionate nature, often described as having a “big bird” personality. Their intelligence, though remarkable, can sometimes lead to mischievous behavior, such as learning to open their cage latch after a few observations, showcasing their crafty escape skills.

Their high level of intelligence is underscored by studies, including one by Oxford University in 2013, revealing their capacity to solve intricate mechanical problems, like unlocking a series of locks sequentially. Goffin’s cockatoos have also demonstrated tool-making abilities, adjusting cardboard strips to create tools for reaching food. Their problem-solving extends to carrying multiple tools and customizing kits to tackle complex challenges.

In terms of behavior, Goffin’s cockatoos display an inquisitive nature, enjoying the act of chewing objects in their surroundings. Despite this, they are comparatively less destructive than some other cockatoo species. 

While they are generally quieter, they can emit screeches, especially when seeking attention. While not renowned for their extensive vocabulary, they can learn a fair share of words and phrases. Additionally, akin to many other cockatoos, Goffin’s cockatoos exhibit a penchant for dancing to music.

Care and Feeding

Diet and Feeding Recommendations 

Maintaining the health of Goffin Cockatoos demands a well-rounded diet, and the recommended foundation is pelleted food designed specifically for birds, available commercially in various shapes, sizes, and colors. These pellets offer a comprehensive blend of essential nutrients crucial for the bird’s well-being.

In addition to pellets, diversifying their diet with fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables is beneficial. Nutrient-rich vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, corn, carrots, broccoli, kale, and chard can be included. Healthy fruit options encompass pineapples, mangoes, melons, bananas, tangerines, apples, and coconuts. It’s crucial to remove fruits and vegetables from their food bowls after a couple of hours to prevent spoilage.

Seeds with low-fat content, like safflower, millet, canary, sunflower, and groat seeds, are suitable for Goffin Cockatoos. Notably, while cockatoos have a fondness for peanuts and sunflower seeds, these should be offered in moderation due to their high-fat content and deficiency in calcium, vitamin A, and other essential nutrients.

Providing fresh water that is changed daily is paramount to prevent bacterial buildup. It’s essential to recognize that Goffin Cockatoos might exhibit stubbornness when introduced to new foods, requiring patience and persistence in the process of diversifying their diet.

Spacious Cage and Toys for Mental Stimulation

Ensuring the well-being of Goffin Cockatoos, given their high intelligence and active nature, necessitates ample mental and physical stimulation. A spacious and robust cage is imperative, affording them the freedom to climb and move comfortably. The cage must be well-constructed and designed specifically for parrots to prevent escape or destruction.

Toys assume a pivotal role in catering to their mental needs. Hanging toys, for instance, offer a satisfying chewing and destroying outlet outside of their cage. Foraging toys designed to make the bird work for hidden food prove effective in maintaining both mental and physical engagement. Puzzle toys, challenging their problem-solving abilities, contribute to keeping their cognitive faculties sharp.

Incorporating interactive toys such as bells, mirrors, and tunnels fosters valuable social interaction between the bird and its owner. The inclusion of varied textures in toys adds a diverse range of sensory experiences, enhancing the overall mental stimulation for the bird. Striking the right balance in providing a stimulating environment is vital for the overall well-being of Goffin Cockatoos.

Lifespan and Health

Goffin Cockatoos have the potential to live up to 40 years, although specific data on their average lifespan is not extensively documented, and various factors like disease or injury can impact their longevity.

While generally robust, Goffin Cockatoos may encounter specific health issues. These include feather picking or self-mutilation, a challenging behavioral problem that is difficult to cure. Obesity is another concern, and attentive dietary management is crucial to prevent weight-related complications.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is a serious, contagious ailment affecting feathers and beaks, with no cure available. Cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis and stroke, respiratory problems such as fungal infections and pneumonia, and parasitic infections are also potential health challenges.

Proactive care, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups play a pivotal role in managing or preventing these health issues. Goffin Cockatoos, being active and social birds, require at least three hours of supervised time outside their cage daily for exercise and play. Their hyperactive and emotionally dependent nature necessitates constant stimulation to avoid boredom-induced feather tearing. Providing toys, wooden blocks, or branches for chewing helps keep them active and entertained.

Recognized for their sociability and intelligence, Goffin Cockatoos benefit from early socialization to diverse situations and exposure to different people, cages, toys, and veterinary visits. These proactive care measures contribute to ensuring a healthy and fulfilling life for these vibrant birds.

Socialization and Training

Goffin Cockatoos, known for their intelligence and curiosity, are trainable birds that thrive on social interaction. To foster a healthy and happy relationship with your Goffin Cockatoo, consider these tips for taming, training, and bonding:


  1. Gradual sessions: Begin with short taming sessions, gradually increasing duration as your bird becomes more comfortable.
  2. Gentle handling: Hand-feed treats, speak in soothing tones, and avoid sudden movements to build trust.
  3. Calm environment: Choose a quiet, uncluttered space for training to minimize distractions.
  4. Perch or stick: Initially, use a perch or stick for your bird to step onto, fostering trust and reducing the risk of nipping.


  1. Consistency: Maintain consistent training routines for a well-adjusted and tame bird.
  2. Positive reinforcement: Use treats or praise to reinforce good behavior, avoiding punishment or yelling.
  3. Teach tricks: Goffin Cockatoos can learn tricks through repetition, patience, and positive reinforcement.

Socialization and Bonding:

  1. Quality time: Spend ample supervised time outside the cage for play and exercise to strengthen the bond.
  2. Physical contact: Foster a bond through close physical contact, including mutual preening and perching in proximity.
  3. Communication: Talk regularly to your bird, introducing yourself and gently touching if your bird is comfortable.
  4. Prosocial behavior: Recognize and appreciate their capacity for prosocial behavior, demonstrating social intelligence and bonding.

Remember, each bird is unique, and their response to taming, training, and socialization may vary. Patience, consistency, and a gentle approach are key to building a successful and fulfilling relationship with your Goffin Cockatoo.

Adoption and Purchasing Options

If you are considering adopting or purchasing a Goffin Cockatoo, there are various sources to explore. Here are some options:


  1. Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary: Offers a Goffin Cockatoo adoption program, requiring multiple visits for bonding and careful screening of adopters.
  2. PEARL Parrot Rescue: An all-volunteer, foster-based organization in Pittsburgh, PA, with an adoption process and specific cage size requirements.
  3. Birds of Paradise Sanctuary: Provides Goffin Cockatoos for adoption, but details about the adoption process may need further inquiry.
  4. Rescue the Birds: Offers Goffin Cockatoos for adoption, providing an adoption application and guide on their website.
  5. Birds and Beaks Rescue and Rehab: Offers parrots, including Goffin Cockatoos, for adoption, with requirements such as an appropriate-sized carrier and an adoption fee.


  1. Live Cockatoo Aviary: An online store offering Goffin Cockatoos for sale, providing detailed information about the birds.
  2. Golden Cockatoo: A store selling Goffin Cockatoos; pricing and availability details can be obtained by calling the store.
  3. Amazing Bird Breeders: An online store specializing in well-socialized companion Goffin’s cockatoos, providing detailed information about the birds.

Before proceeding with adoption or purchase, it’s essential to research and verify the credibility of the seller or organization. Additionally, owning a Goffin Cockatoo requires a significant commitment of time and resources due to their need for care, attention, and social interaction. Ensure you are prepared for the responsibilities that come with caring for these intelligent and social birds.


The Goffin Cockatoo, a petite yet intelligent and playful parrot species, stands out as a captivating companion celebrated for its distinctive appearance and engaging demeanor. 

Despite their compact size, these birds exude a robust personality, necessitating a well-rounded diet, an ample living space, and an array of toys for cognitive stimulation. Renowned for their sociability and affection, they showcase problem-solving prowess and a remarkable capacity for forming strong bonds.

While Goffin Cockatoos bring joy to households, it’s crucial to acknowledge their susceptibility to certain health issues. Proper care, routine veterinary check-ups, and a committed owner are paramount for their well-being. In essence, Goffin Cockatoos prove to be delightful additions to homes where they receive the necessary care, mental stimulation, and social interaction, transforming them into cherished companions.


1.       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241052/

2.       https://seaworld.org/animals/facts/birds/goffins-cockatoo/

3.       https://animalia.bio/goffins-cockatoo

4.       https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/cockatoos-feeding

5.    https://www.reddit.com/r/parrots/comments/17gy9jh/tips_on_taming_a_new_goffins_cockatoo/


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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