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Goffin’s cockatoos are not shy birds. Like a typical cockatoo, most enjoy being held and petted, and are friendly and sociable. Goffin’s can also be a bit mischievous and are quick learners. Don’t be surprised to find that your Goffin’s cockatoo quickly learns to open the cage after seeing you unlatch the lock.
Also called the Tanimbar corella, the Goffin’s cockatoo is the smallest of the white cockatoos, and are about 12 inches long from head to tail. It is most likely to be mistaken for a bare-eyed cockatoo (or little corella) because of their similar appearance.
Goffin’s are mainly white with salmon-colored feathers around the eyes and beak, and the deeper feathers in the crest and around the neck are also salmon colored. The undersides of the Goffin’s wing and tail feathers have a yellowish tinge.
A Goffin’s cockatoo needs a well-constructed cage to not only prevent it from escaping but to prevent the bird from destroying it. A Goffin’s might be smaller than other cockatoos but this little ‘too is quite active and needs a spacious cage to climb about. A pet Goffin’s needs a steady supply of toys and appropriate items to chew and destroy. A Goffin’s needs toys that challenge, such as puzzle toys and those that involve taking things apart or undoing knots.
Cockatoos, including Goffin’s, tend to be more needy than other pet parrot species and an owner should set boundaries early on, otherwise the bird might scream for attention. A cockatoo new to the home should not be showered with non-stop attention, but rather given toys and other enrichment opportunities as well as intermittent attention so that the bird learns to keep itself entertained when the people in its life are not able to offer one-on-one time.
Goffin’s cockatoos are highly intelligent and especially good at figuring out how to unlock cage doors. In fact, a 2013 Oxford University study showed that Goffin’s can solve complex mechanical problems by undoing a series of locks one after another. Ten untrained Goffin’s cockatoos faced a puzzle box showing a nut behind a transparent door, which was secured by a series of five interlocking devices. To reach the nut, the cockatoos had to first remove a pin, then a screw, then a bolt, then turn a wheel 90 degrees, and then shift a latch sideways. One Goffin’s figured out the locks in under two hours without any help; many of the other cockatoos solved the problem with a little help or watching another cockatoo do it.
The Goffin’s cockatoo has a reputation as a “quieter cockatoo,” however, that’s not to say that a Goffin’s won’t screech, especially if he wants your attention. Although not a top talker, a Goffin’s might learn a fair share of words and phrases. Like many other cockatoos, Goffin’s tend to love dancing to music.
Goffin’s can also be a bit mischievous and can be quick learners. Don’t be surprised to find that your Goffin’s cockatoo quickly learns to open the cage after seeing you unlatch the lock.