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Home > Birds > Red-vented Cockatoo: Traits, History, & Care (with Pictures)

Red-vented Cockatoo: Traits, History, & Care (with Pictures)

red vented cockatoo on a tree branch

The Red-vented cockatoo is a beautiful, popular bird species. Its personality is outgoing, and it loves to play games and interact with people. The Red-vented cockatoo can be trained to do tricks like rolling over, sitting up, shaking hands, or doing the splits! They are brilliant and need a lot of attention from their owners because they do not like being left alone for long.

If you have always been interested in birds but don’t know where to start learning about them, this post is for you. We will be diving into the Red-vented cockatoo species and what makes these birds so special.


Species Overview

philippine cockatoo or red vented cockatoo
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock
Common Names: Philippine Cockatoo
Scientific Name: Cacatua haematuropygia
Adult Size: 12 inches
Life Expectancy: 25 – 40 years


Origin and History

The Red-vented cockatoo is also commonly known as the Philippines cockatoo. It is a color mutation from the original yellow-vented cockatoo and can even have more than one mutation as it is possible for them to change color during molting. The Philippines cockatoo’s native habitat is in the tropical forests found in the Philippines, but they reside on many neighboring islands as well.

Back in the 1990s, the Red-vented cockatoo population was estimated to be at 3,000-4,000 individuals. Today, unfortunately, that number is well below 1,000 and steadily decreasing. This earned the Red-vented cockatoo the infamous title of critically endangered.

Their numbers dwindled mainly due to rampant trapping for the pet trade and collection of nestlings for birds in cages used in cockfighting.

In 2014, there was a collaborative effort to save the species from extinction by zoos worldwide. They knew that breeding them wasn’t enough; they also needed to educate more people about the dangers of owning wild-caught birds.

They did this by creating the Red-vented cockatoo Species Survival Plan (SSP) in hopes of saving, rescuing, and breeding them. They also educate new bird owners about looking after their birds, including providing a recommended diet and exercise guidelines.

The SSP is currently working with different organizations such as World Parrot Trust to create awareness about the cockatoo species.

red-vented cockatoo
Image Credit: Pascal_p10, Shutterstock

Red-vented Cockatoo Colors and Markings

When talking about cockatoos, we usually name them based on physical traits like their crest. Otherwise, this specimen is all white from the crest to its feet! In this case, red-vented refers to its red vent feathers.

The most striking and easily recognizable trait is the bright red feathers found on their belly and underside of their tail, which are bright red with splashes of yellow surrounding them.


Where to Adopt or Buy a Red-vented Cockatoo

Since these animals are critically endangered, they are only sold in select areas throughout the world.

The best place to purchase one would be from a rescue organization. This way, you know that it is not wild-caught and has been properly cared for since its birth. Also, remember to check local laws because certain states may have laws preventing ownership of birds like these.

Be prepared for a hefty price tag, as your pet would be one of the very last specimens on the planet!

Cacatua haematuropygia Parc des Oiseaux 21 10 2015 1 (Image Credit: Vassil, Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to bring a Red-vented cockatoo into your home, keep in mind that they are endangered, and it is illegal to import them from the wild. That being said, some of these incredible birds can be found through reputable breeders or even at animal shelters across North America, so if this experience interests you, please contact us!

For those who would like to learn more about these lovely creatures before deciding whether or not one should join their family, we recommend reading our blog for all sorts of information on how to take care of cockatoos and all sorts of other domesticated birds.

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Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

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