How Long Do Cockatoos Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 20 To 40 Years

Cockatoos are one of the most popular birds in aviculture. These birds majorly belong to Australia and their most recognizable features are crests and curved bills. Almost all varieties of cockatoos prefer ground feeding.

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How Long Do Cockatoos Live?

Different Breeds Of CockatoosLifespan
Cockatiel cockatoos10 years to 15 years
White cockatoos40 years to 60 years
Sulfur-crested cockatoos20 years to 40 years
Galah cockatoos35 years to 45 years
Red-tailed black cockatoos45 years to 50 years

The lifespan of cockatoos is known to be about a minimum of 20 years to a maximum of 40 years. But many factors determine the lifespan of cockatoos. Among these many factors, the major factor that plays a vital role in determining the lifespan of cockatoos is the species of cockatoos. Cockatoos are found in many different varieties.

These birds are the smallest variety of cockatoos among all. This bird is also known as weiro bird and quarrion as well. They have a lifespan of about 10 years to 15 years on average. This lifespan might be reduced owing to genetic diseases too. At times, severe injuries might make it difficult for the bird to survive.

White cockatoos are all in white-colored cockatoos which are endemic to the tropical rainforest of the islands of Indonesia. The white cockatoos are also known as umbrella cockatoos that have an average lifespan ranging between 40 years to 60 years.

Sulfur-crested cockatoos are majorly found in the wooded regions of Australia, New Guinea, and also in some of the islands of Indonesia. These birds are huge and their lifespan ranges between 20 to 40 years on average. These birds are found abundantly in some local areas of Australia and Indonesia which makes them great birds to keep as pets.

Galah cockatoos are the only species that belong to the genus Eolophus of the family of cockatoos. These birds are also known as pink and grey cockatoo and the rose-breasted cockatoo. These birds are one of the most common varieties of cockatoos found in abundance in Australia. Galah cockatoos have a lifespan ranging from a minimum of 35 years to a maximum of 45 years.

Red-tailed black cockatoos are larger in size and are believed to come from Australia. There are limited pieces of evidence to date back their existence. The lifespan of red-tailed black cockatoos ranges from 45 years to 50 years.

Why Do Cockatoos Live That Long?

Generally, cockatoos living in captivity, which means in zoological gardens and sanctuaries, tend to live longer than cockatoos living in the wild. When said about keeping a cockatoo in captivity, that means the cockatoos could be kept in zoos, animal sanctuaries, or even kept as pets. Keeping cockatoos in captivity signifies that the cockatoo has an owner whose responsibility is to take care of it. The cockatoo who lives under captivation can live for as long as a span of 45 to 50 years. 

The reason behind that is because these cockatoos have no stress to survive, they don’t have to struggle for food or fight predators. Such cockatoos are provided food and a good environment, they are far away from predators and thus, they have a huge lifespan of 45 to 50 years. All the conditions suitable to live for a cockatoo are readily provided to cockatoos in captivity. Whereas, cockatoos living in the wild struggle to live longer because of shortage of food, unsuitable external conditions, fear of hunters, and all other such problems as well.


With advancements in veterinary medicine and veterinary science, scientists have found suitable conditions for cockatoos to survive for a longer duration of time. Moreover, with developed and improved knowledge about appropriate care for cockatoos, good feeding habits, and all other survival situations, the average lifespan of the cockatoos can be increased from 5 years to about 10 years. Cockatoos are not more vulnerable to survival problems like predators and food shortages. When taken proper care, provided safe and suitable shelter, a healthy diet, and an attentive owner, cockatoos can easily live up to 40 to 50 years.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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