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Blue-Eyed Cockatoo: Rarity, Pictures & Care Guide

Ashley Bates

Cockatoos steal the show, being some of the most striking, active birds of all time. Since their start in captivity, breeders have worked diligently to try to create different genetics.

Certain qualities show up in cockatoos, one of which is having blue eyes (but not in the way you might think.) Upon first glance, the contrast of baby blue on their white feathers is stunning—it’s no wonder this type of cockatoo is sought after by bird lovers all over. Read on while we tell you all there is to know about the blue-eyed cockatoo.

divider-birdsSpecies Overview

Common Names Blue-eyed cockatoo, cockatoo
Scientific Name Cacatua ophthalmica
Adult Size 20 inches
Life Expectancy 50 years

Origin and History

In the 1900s, it became increasingly popular in European countries for people to own parrot species. Many people found the companionship that they had with these tropical birds to be unparalleled.

Because of the cockatoo’s silly and strong-willed personality, they quickly became favorites. Not to mention, they are beautiful birds. They have an interesting crest of head feathers and snow-white coloration with plumes of yellow—what’s not to love?

blue eyed cockatoo
Image Credit: Danny Ye, Shutterstock

Specifically, the blue-eyed cockatoo comes from areas of New Britain and New Ireland on the West Pacific Ocean. They thrive in humid subtropical forests. You can find these birds in small groups or pairs.

They are rare in the avian pet trade, making them worth a pretty penny. You might have to scour nearby areas for one of these magnificent creatures—and be prepared to pony up the dough when you do.

Blue-Eyed Cockatoo Colors and Markings

When you think of the term blue-eyed cockatoo, you might think that you are discussing the actual iris of the eye. Contrary to the name, blue-eyed cockatoos instead have vibrant blue rings around the outside of their eyes.

Aside from the fascinating eye color, these cockatoos look like their cousins—white feathering and yellow crests.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Blue-Eyed Cockatoo

If you’re looking for a blue-eyed cockatoo, you have a few options.

Breeders

Buying a blue-eyed cockatoo can get downright pricey if you buy one from a breeder. They are extremely rare, and the likelihood that you will have to travel is very high depending on where you live.

If you are lucky enough to spot one, you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 per bird.

Pet shops

Similar to buying from a private breeder, pet shops charge almost as much. You might not have as much success finding a blue-eyed cockatoo in particular through a pet store. However, it is possible.

If you do find a blue-eyed cockatoo at a pet shop, you will likely see fees between $5,000 and $10,000.

Private Sales

Cockatoos live for a very long time, as you know. If an owner dies or another life circumstance prevents the owners from caring for the bird any further, private sales are possible.

You might pay less for a previously owned bird, depending on the age. It’s hard to pinpoint a price since this is very much dependent on the seller.

However, generally, these sales come with cages included and can ultimately cost a lot less money from a breeder. On average, you are looking at prices between $5,000 and $6,000.

blue eyed cockatoo in cage
Image Credit: Akarat Duangkhong, Shutterstock

Adoption

Unforeseen circumstances happen constantly. If a cockatoo was ever surrendered or rescued from an unfavorable situation, you might be able to adopt it from a shelter or rescue.

These birds will have had all necessary vet care if you do, so you have a good idea of any recurring medications or health issues they might face. If you adopt one this way, you can expect to pay under $500 for the total adoption costs.

divider-birdsConclusion

If you have the financial means to purchase a blue-eyed cockatoo, they can be incredibly rewarding pets. Although they are high maintenance and require lots of attention, they will fill your life with lots of laughter and happiness.

Keep in mind that the bird’s actual iris is not blue, instead, it’s the ring around the eye that holds that special color. Blue eyes in cockatoos do not exist.


Featured Image Credit: Steven Giles, Shutterstock

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.