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How much is a cockatoo?

How much is a cockatoo?

Cockatoos make incredibly popular pets. With their affectionate nature, immense intelligence, and striking appearance, it’s no wonder these parrots have won the hearts of so many owners. However, cockatoos do come with a hefty price tag. So, how much does a cockatoo cost?

Cockatoo Cost Considerations

There are a few factors that influence the cost of a pet cockatoo:

  • Species – Some cockatoo species are rarer and more expensive than others.
  • Age – Younger cockatoos typically cost more than older birds.
  • Color mutations – Unusual color variations like lutino can increase price.
  • Source – Pet store vs breeder vs rescue.
  • Training and socialization – Well-trained, hand-fed babies are pricier.
  • Health and pedigree – Lineage and veterinary history impact cost.
  • Supplies – A cockatoo’s housing, toys, and other gear adds to the overall cost.

Let’s explore these factors in more detail.

Different Cockatoo Species Costs

There are over 20 cockatoo species, and some are far more expensive than others. The rarest and most sought-after cockatoos typically cost the most. Here are average price ranges for popular pet cockatoo species:

Species Average Price Range
Umbrella cockatoo $1,000 – $4,000
Moluccan cockatoo $1,200 – $2,500
Goffin’s cockatoo $1,000 – $3,000
Citron-crested cockatoo $2,000 – $3,000
Galah cockatoo $500 – $1,500
Sulphur-crested cockatoo $600 – $2,000
Corella cockatoo $800 – $1,200
Cockatiel $80 – $400

As you can see, umbrellas and Moluccans are generally the most expensive pet cockatoos, often ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. Meanwhile, cockatiels are the most affordable species, usually costing between $80 and $400.

Age Impacts Price

A cockatoo’s age also factors into cost. In general, the younger the bird, the higher the price tag. This is because younger cockatoos are easier to train and bond with. They also have a longer lifespan as a pet. Here’s a breakdown of how age influences price:

Age Average Price
Unweaned baby Highest price
Weaned baby High price
Juvenile Moderate price
Adult Lower price
Senior Lowest price

Hand-feeding and weaning a baby cockatoo requires a major time investment from the breeder. So unweaned chicks who still require formula feedings garner the highest prices. As cockatoos mature and become weaned, juvenile, and adult, their price tags progressively drop. Senior birds over 20 years old often cost much less than babies.

Color Mutations Raise Values

Rare color mutations increase the value of any cockatoo. Two of the most sought-after mutations are:

  • Lutino – Vibrant yellow/white feathers instead of gray.
  • Albino – Pure white plumage with red eyes.

These unusual colors occur due to genetic recessive traits. When they appear in typically gray cockatoos like umbrellas and Moluccans, prices skyrocket. Lutino and albino cockatoos can cost up to four times as much as normal-colored ones.

Where to Get a Cockatoo

Where you get your cockatoo greatly impacts the price. Here are the main cockatoo source options with typical price ranges:

Source Average Price Range
Breeder $1,000 – $4,000
Pet store $800 – $3,500
Rescue group $50 – $800
Previous owner $150 – $1,500

Professional breeders offer the widest selection, highest quality, and greatest expense. Pet stores charge markup prices but may be more convenient. Rescues provide the most budget-friendly adoptees, yet with unknown backgrounds. Private previous owners offer variable pricing and history.

Socialization & Training Add Value

A cockatoo who is well-socialized and trained commands a higher price. Signs to look for include:

  • Hand-fed and cuddled since chickhood
  • Comfortable around strangers
  • Step-up trained
  • Knows basic commands
  • Tolerates handling and petting

This early socialization and training takes intense effort by the breeder. So birds with these behavioral advantages easily cost $500 to $2,000 more than untrained cockatoos.

Health and Pedigree Checks

Reputable breeders screen and test cockatoos for health and personality. They provide veterinary records proving the birds are disease-free. They also offer pedigree documentation listing parent birds and ancestry. This level of transparency justify higher pricing of $1,500 to $4,000 per bird. Pet stores rarely furnish this depth of background info.

Cockatoo Housing & Supplies

The cockatoo itself is only part of a complete setup for responsible ownership. You’ll also need a roomy cage, perches, toys, dishes, and other supplies. These essentials often add $500 to $2,000 to the total cost. Never purchase a cockatoo without budgeting for appropriate housing and accessories.

With all these factors considered, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000+ for a pet cockatoo. The final cost depends on the species, age, color, source, training, health, and supplies. But the years of companionship and joy from one of these amazing parrots is priceless!


Cockatoos make fabulously engaging yet demanding pets. Their purchase price is just the beginning – proper lifetime care requires major commitment. But for the right owner, the experience of sharing life with a cockatoo is tremendously rewarding. Do ample research to choose the best species, source, and bird for your home. Then be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for your cockatoo and the necessary housing, food, enrichment and veterinary care. While not inexpensive, welcoming one of these incredible parrots into your family is an investment that pays back tenfold in love and memories.