How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost? (2024 Updated)

Cockatoo price and expenses how much does a cockatoo cost

If you are a fan of beautifully crested and colorful parrots, you might have already considered the cockatoo and researched how much it costs. 

With the wide variety of cockatoo species, you must initially select which type best suits your preferences, environment, and lifestyle. This is because each cockatoo has its own rarity, unique features, and pricing.

This article should help you get comfortable in financially planning for your very own cockatoo by discussing the price of its different types, factors influencing its value, costs associated with owning one, and more!

How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost?

Magnificent Cockatoo looking sideways

The price of the more common types of cockatoos ranges between $1,000 and $6,500. This also depends on factors such as age, gender, genetics, size, color, rarity, unique features, breeder’s reputation, and even the bird’s ability to talk. Rare species of cockatoos may even reach $15,000 to $40,000.  

Older cockatoos tend to be more expensive since they are already more trained, both in talking and doing tricks, and socialized compared to younger ones.

Below is an easy reference of the different species of cockatoos and their price ranges:

Cockatoo SpeciesPrice Range
Palm Cockatoo $15,000 – $23,000
Galah Cockatoo$2,000 – $3,000
Goffin’s Cockatoo$1,000 – $2,000
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo$5,000 – $6,500
Moluccan Cockatoo$1,000 – $2,000
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo$2,000 – $4,000
Citron-crested Cockatoo$3,000 – $4,000
Umbrella Cockatoo$1,000 – $3,000
Bare-eyed Cockatoo$1,000 – $2,000
Blue-eyed Cockatoo$8,000 – $10,000
Gang Gang Cockatoo$1,400 – $1,800
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo$15,000 – $40,000
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo$7,500 – $15,000
Slender-billed Cockatoo$3,000 – $4,000
Cockatiel$80 – $250

Looking at these varieties of cockatoos, you can see that the price ranges are quite diverse. Understandably, it may become quite confusing for those unfamiliar with them, so the next section will help identify them.

Price Ranges for Different Types of Cockatoos

To assist you in matching your budget better for your ideal cockatoo, this section runs through the different Cockapoo types, along with their short descriptions and respective price ranges.

1. Palm Cockatoo ($15,000 – $23,000)

Palm Cockatoo price

Also known as the Goliath or Great Black Cockatoo, the Palm Cockatoo is a huge smoky gray-colored parrot with a prominent crest, red cheek patches, and a very large black beak.

These prominent features, along with its decreasing population trend according to the IUCN Red List, make it one of the most expensive cockatoos on this list, priced at $15,000 to $23,000.

2. Galah Cockatoo ($2,000 – $3,000)

Galah Cockatoo price

The most distinctive feature of the Galah Cockatoo is its beautiful combination of pink face, breast, and mobile crest, and gray back, wings, rump, and legs. 

Hence, it is also known as the Pink and Grey or Rose-breasted Cockatoo. This beautiful bird is among the most common cockatoos and is found throughout Australia. They are costed around $2,000 to $3,000.

3. Goffin’s Cockatoo ($1,000 – $2,000)

Goffins Cockatoo price

One of the cheapest cockatoos at $1,000 to $2,000, the Tanimbar corella or Goffin’s Cockatoo is endemic to the islands of Tanimbar in Indonesia. This white-crested bird is also one of the smallest cockatoos.

In addition, they are categorized as a near-threatened species by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

4. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo ($5,000 – $6,500)

Major Mitchells Cockatoo price

The Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo is also known as the Leadbeater’s Cockatoo or the Pink Cockatoo. Its best features are its large bright red and yellow crest and its soft white and salmon pink plumage.

Priced at $5,000 to $6,500, this parrot has a relatively long lifespan, with the oldest recorded one in captivity reaching 83 years old.

5. Moluccan Cockatoo ($1,000 – $2,000)

Moluccan Cockatoo price

Also known as the Salmon-crested Cockatoo, the Moluccan Cockatoo is endemic to the Seram archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Being the largest of the white cockatoos, it is also known for its ability to mimic sounds.

Being listed on the Wild Bird Conservation Act, importing this bird into the United States is now prohibited. However, it is bred locally in captivity and costs between $1,000 and $2,000.

6. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo ($1,500 – $4,000)

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo price

There are four recognized subspecies of sulphur-crested cockatoos, namely the Triton, Eleanora, Mathews, and Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Their price range falls between $1,500 and $4,000.

These large, white cockatoos are usually seen in great numbers in the wild. They are mostly found in wooded habitats in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia.

7. Citron-Crested Cockatoo ($3,000 – $4,000)

Citron Crested Cockatoo price

This beautiful medium-sized cockatoo is known for its orange crest, dark gray beak, pale orange ear patches, pale yellow tail feathers, and very light-blue eyelid colors.

Citron-crested Cockatoos are priced at $3,000 to $4,000 but note that they are tagged as critically endangered by the IUCN. International trade of this bird is strongly regulated, and wild-caught trading is illegal.

8. Umbrella Cockatoo ($1,000 – $3,000)

Umbrella Cockatoo price

The Umbrella cockatoo, otherwise known as the White Cockatoo, is named as such due to its large, extended, semi-circular-shaped, striking head crest that looks like an umbrella. This parrot’s cost is around $1,000 to $3,000.

Another species tagged as endangered by the IUCN, its dwindling numbers are affected by habitat loss and cage bird trade.

9. Bare-Eyed Cockatoo ($1,000 – $2,000)

Bare Eyed Cockatoo price

Known for its many names, such as the Little Corella, Short-billed Corella, Blood-stained Cockatoo, and Little Cockatoo, the Bare-eyed Cockatoo is popular for its blue rings around its eyes.

With its price ranging between $1,000 and $2,000, you get a small, goofy white parrot that is best at mimicking human speech.

10. Blue-Eyed Cockatoo ($8,000 – $10,000)

Blue Eyed Cockatoo price

This large parrot is aptly named for its light blue rim of featherless skin around both its eyes. It also has a mobile yellow and white crest, a black beak, and zygodactyl feet that are common to all cockatoos. 

This rare cockatoo is priced at $8,000 to $10,000 and is endemic to the lowland forests of New Britain east of New Guinea. They fly at an altitude of 3,280 feet, which makes them difficult to spot in the wild.

11. Gang Gang Cockatoo ($1,400 – $1,800)

Gang Gang Cockatoo price

The Gang Gang Cockatoo loves the cool and wet forests and woodlands of Australia. It is a gray bird with a wispy red crest and head in males, which appears dark gray in females.

The value of these social birds is $1,400 to $1,800. They can be found in the coastal regions of south-eastern Australia.

12. Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo ($15,000 – $40,000)

Red Tailed Black Cockatoo price

As the most expensive cockatoo type in the list, priced at $15,000 to $40,000, red-tailed black Cockatoos, Banksian, or Banks’ black cockatoos are native to Australia and have five subspecies differing in their beak type.

Its name is derived from the bright red panels on the tails of the males of these cockatoos. Out of the black cockatoos, they are also the most adaptable to aviculture.

Check this video for you to appreciate how beautiful the red-tailed black cockatoo is:

Red Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Australian Bird Media.

13. Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo ($7,500 – $15,000)

Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo price

Yellow-tailed black cockatoos are large parrots endemic to the southeast region of Australia. It is known for its short crest, brownin=sh-black plumage, yellow cheek patches, and tail band.

Not as expensive as their red-tailed counterparts, they are still quite pricey at $7,500 to $15,000. They are also protected by CITES, which makes the wild-caught trade, export, and import of these birds illegal.

14. Slender-Billed Cockatoo ($3,000 – $4,000)

Slender Billed Cockatoo price

Also known as the Long-billed Corella, the Slender-billed Corella is native to Australia and costs around $3,000 to $4,000.

This cockatoo is known for its long, bone-colored beak, featherless bluish skin around the eyes, and predominantly white plumage with reddish patches around the eyes and lores.

15. Cockatiel ($80 – $250)

Cockatiel price

Cockatiels are medium-sized parrots that have their own branch under the cockatoo family of Australia.

Also known as weeros, weiros, or quarrions, these beautiful vertically-crested birds are one of the best parrots as pets but are cheaply priced at $80 to $250

These largely nomadic birds are typically seen in pairs or small flocks, but they can be seen in huge numbers around bodies of water.

Factors Influencing Cockatoo Prices

Understanding the different factors that affect how cockatoos are priced gives a better concept and appreciation of the special features of these birds.

This, in turn, quill help determine what to look for when dealing with cockatoo breeders and help you get the best deal out of the budget you have.

Listed below are some of the factors that drive Cockatoo pricing:

  • Size: Usually, larger-sized cockatoos are more expensive. Bigger cockatoos also require more maintenance and require larger enclosures.
  • Age: A primary determinant of a cockatoo’s price is its age. Older birds are more stable, trained, and socialized than younger ones. Hatchlings are also more difficult to raise.
  • Appearance: The unique features of cockatoos, such as their crests, colors, distinct markings, and feather textures, all contribute to the demand of clients based on preferences. This drives the price variety of the different species.
  • Rarity: The rarity of cockatoos is dictated by their location, presence in the country, and conservation status. The more threatened or endangered a species is, the higher the price for those bred through aviculture.
  • Training: Well-trained cockatoos, not just in terms of behavior but also in terms of tricks and mimicking or talking ability, definitely fetch higher prices.
  • Breeder’s reputation: Reputable breeders of cockatoos will have higher prices because of the quality and health security you get when purchasing from them.

When sourcing a cockatoo, always remember these factors so you can wisely determine whether the price of the parrot you are interested in is worth it.

First-Time Expenses of Owning a Cockatoo

Cockatoo about to eat

Just like with any other pet, bringing home a cockatoo for the first time has its associated costs related to its health, comfort, and overall well-being.

Below is a comprehensive list of the possible initial expenses you need to consider in owning a cockatoo:

  • Cage: As your cockatoo’s abode, you have to select a cage or enclosure that is spacious enough for its size and will fit most of the essential items that your cockatoo needs. A good bird cage can cost anywhere between $150 and $1,500, depending on its size.
  • Cage Stand: A sturdy and reliable cage stand to hold your bird cage upright, regardless of how active your cockatoo is, may hold you back by about $35 to $75.
  • Cage Cover: A cage cover is essential to providing your cockatoo with good sleep at night. When your cockatoo is outside on its perch, it may also be used to keep its cage dust-free. A cover made of high-quality fabric may cost $20 to $45.
  • Food and Water Bowls: For about $10 to $50, you can provide your cockatoo with sturdy and easy-to-clean food and water bowls which they can eat and drink comfortably from.
  • Perches and Ladders: Perches and ladders are not just there for display, but they are actually good for the physical stimulation of your cockatoo. These items help with your cockatoo’s grip strength and can also double as chew items. Set aside $80 to $300 for these.
  • Toys: Cockatoos are very intelligent birds. To keep them mentally stimulated and bring out their best behavior, budget around $30 to $150 for puzzles, bells, rings, and balls.
  • Grooming Supplies: To keep your cockatoo well-groomed, you need a good set of scissors, tweezers, and nail trimmers. A complete grooming kit can cost between $30 and $70.
  • Cage Cleaning Supplies: A clean and healthy environment is essential to the health of a cockatoo. Hence, cleaning supplies like disinfectants, detergents, clean towels, and brushes are necessary for this task and may cost $10 to $40.
  • Food and Treats: Cockatoos need a balanced combination of fresh and dry foods to stay nutritionally healthy. Its diet must be composed of vegetables, fruits, seeds, and pellets. Treats are also critical for training your birds. Financially prepare $20 to $70 for your cockatoo’s dietary needs.
  • Mineral Supplements: Budget around $10 to $30 for your cockatoo’s mineral supplements. This is critical in supporting your bird’s vital functions, such as bone formation, blood clotting, feather growth, reproduction, nutrient absorption, and digestive processes.
  • Cage Liners and Bedding: Part of keeping your cockatoo’s cage hygienic is to ensure that you regularly replace its cage liners and beddings. High-quality, absorbent, and safe cage liners and beddings may cost around $10 to $30.
  • Nesting Material: Nesting materials can usually be made out of natural materials you can find in your backyard, but there are also commercially available ones that are priced around $5 to $25.
  • Hideaway: A hideaway for birds has a similar effect to crates in dogs. For about $7 to $25, it offers a place for your cockatoo where it can feel warm, safe, and secure and, therefore, less stressed. 
  • Travel Cage: You need to have a handy travel cage that is more compact and mobile than your cockatoo’s bird cage. This is used for transporting your bird whenever you need to bring it elsewhere, such as to the vet. A reliable travel cage can hold you back by $30 to $120.
  • First Aid Supplies: Knowing how to apply first-aid on your cockatoo whenever the situation calls for it will help prevent injuries from getting worse and may even save your bird’s life. A first aid kit containing all the critical supplies will cost around $10 to $35.
  • Microchip or Leg Band: Microchips and leg bands are useful identifiers and can help locate their place of origin and gender. You can get this done for only $50 to $120.

Here is a summary of costs for first-time owners of cockatoos:

Type of ExpenseCost
Cage$150 – $1,500
Cage Stand$35 – $75
Cage Cover$20 – $45
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $50
Perches and Ladders$80 – $300
Toys$30 – $150
Grooming Supplies$30 – $70
Cage Cleaning Supplies$10 – $40
Food and Treats$20 – $70
Mineral Supplements$10 – $30
Cage Liners and Bedding$10 – $30
Nesting Material$5 – $25
Hideaway$7 – $25
Travel Cage$30 – $120
First Aid Supplies$10 – $35
Microchip or Leg Band$50 – $120
Total Initial Cost$507 – $2,685

Remember that many of these items need to be purchased and set up at home ahead of your cockatoo. It is advised not to skimp on the quality of these items so they can last for a long time.

Annual Cost of Owning a Cockatoo

A lot of the annual recurring costs of taking care of cockatoos are the same items from the initial expenses, multiplied by how many years your choice of cockapoo lives.

This may seem like a huge amount at the onset, but to make financial planning more manageable, you can break these expenses into monthly ones.

The table below gives you a reference to the annual expenses of owning a cockatoo:

Type of ExpenseYearly Estimate
Food and Treats$100 – $300
Mineral Supplements$40 – $120
Cage and Accessories$50 – $200
Bedding and Litter$30 – $60
Toys$50 – $150
Grooming Supplies$20 – $70
Cage Cleaning Supplies$15 – $50
Pet Insurance$80 – $250
Veterinary Care$50 – $200
Miscellaneous Expenses$50 – $100
Yearly Total$485 – $1,500
Average Monthly Cost$41 – $125

If you will notice, the new items appearing in this list are more health-related ones, such as pet insurance and routine veterinary care. 

As your bird ages, it becomes more susceptible to health-related issues. Hence, investing in pet insurance is necessary to save on the high costs of unexpected medical emergencies, especially in older cockatoos.

Further, visiting your vet regularly will help detect instances of diseases early, paving the way for early treatment, which is usually easier and cheaper.

Other Potential Expenses

Cockatoo with its trainer

As you take care of your cockatoo year after year, you are bound to encounter situations that may push you to spend outside of your prepared budget.

A good way to manage these costs is to determine early what these possible scenarios are.

To help you get started with this, here are some potential expenses you might encounter while tending to your cockatoo:

  • Emergency medical procedures: Without pet insurance, health emergencies can be quite costly, and due to their unpredictable nature, they can really throw you off financially. Emergency treatment can cost you somewhere around $300 to $2,000, depending on the condition.
  • Pet boarding: In case you need to be on an extended vacation or business trip, pet boarding can be a worry-free option for you. Pet professionals can manage the accommodations and basic care for your cockatoo for about $15 to $30 per night.
  • Professional training services: Being intelligent birds, you can maximize the skills of your cockatoos by having professional trainers teach them advanced tricks and mimic complicated sounds. Sessions may range between $70 and $400, depending on their complexity.
  • Professional grooming services: If you are not comfortable grooming your own cockatoo, employing the services of a professional groomer can hold you back by about $35 to $50. This involves trimming the nails, wings, and the beak.

As you discover more of these potential expenses, you become more adept at planning ahead of these costs. 

So long as you are able to set aside something for these unexpected costs, you will continue to be financially stable, no matter the situation.

Where to Buy Cockatoos

Once you are prepared for all the financial considerations of owning a cockatoo, you can already start souring for one more securely. Having said this, it is always best to go for reputable sources of this bird species.

Dealing with the right breeders helps you avoid shady transactions, especially since the sale of many of these cockatoos may be regulated due to their conservation status.

You can visit the sources below of reputable breeders of cockatoos:

  • Golden Cockatoo – Established in 1995, Golden Cockatoo focuses on hand-fed cockatoos, as well as other parrots, exotic birds, finches, and canaries. To ensure expertise in what they do, each of their employees must own at least one bird before they are accepted.
  • Parrot Stars – As its name suggests, Parrot Stars is an organization that focuses on the promotion of different types of parrots, including cockatoos. They even have parrot products for sale, as well as grooming and boarding services for your pet.
  • Swift Parrots Farm – Located in Georgia, Swift Parrots Farm is proud of its healthy and well-behaved parrots, including cockatoos. Each of their birds comes with DNA tests, multiple vaccinations, health screenings, vet certifications, relevant paperwork, an info booklet, and a gift pack.

As you deal with these breeders, remember to thoroughly conduct your research and always ask the proper questions that will ensure you are getting a healthy and high-quality cockatoo.

Money-Saving Tips for Cockatoo Owners

Cockatoo doing tricks

As part of your responsible ownership of a cockatoo, providing all its needs to keep it healthy, happy, and comfortable is definitely something you would want to consider, and these entail a lot of costs for its entire lifetime.

The good news is there are practical ways to save money without sacrificing the level of care you give your pet bird.

Here are some money-saving tips you can follow as you own a cockatoo: 

  • Look for the best deals on food and supplies: Before buying your cockatoo’s supplies, always canvas the prices of food and supplies from pet or bird stores in your area. Buying items in bulk are also usually cheaper and are more economical in the long run.
  • Invest in pet insurance: Pet insurance will come in handy when the need arises. Instead of having to shell out thousands of dollars in veterinary fees and emergency treatments and procedures, you can save more by investing in pet insurance.
  • Customize your own accessories: A friend of mine who breeds cockatiels mostly uses scrap materials to come up with perches, ladders, nesting materials, toys, and hideaways. Many of his materials are even taken from natural sources like shrubs and small trees outside his house, saving him a great amount of money.
  • Groom your cockatoo at home. Instead of spending about $35 to $50 every time you need to go to a groomer, invest in a complete set of grooming essentials for a one-time cost of about $20 to $70. Then, try to learn how to groom your cockatoo using online instructions and videos, which is a much cheaper option.

If you are an experienced cockatoo owner, you definitely must have more strategies you are implementing on how to save on the costs of owning a cockatoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

A group of cockatoos for sale

What Is the Cheapest Cockatoo?

The cockatiel is the cheapest variant of cockatoo and is priced only between $80 and $250. These beautiful and intelligent birds are quite common and are easy to breed, which makes their prices low.

Other affordable variants of cockatoos are the Goffin’s, Moluccan, and Bare-eyed Cockatoos.

Are Cockatoos Good Pets?

Cockatoos are sweet, affectionate, intelligent, and entertaining birds. They also love interacting with people, so do not be surprised if you catch them landing on your arms, shoulders, or even your head.

These parrots also love being petted, making them excellent family pets.

Are Cockatoos Hard to Own?

Cockatoos may be hard to own for first-time bird owners since they crave a lot of attention. They also take a lot of patience to train and can be quite mischievous at times. Further, they can also be quite vocal. 

Hence, owning cockatoos needs a lot of dedication in terms of time and attention for them to be on their best behavior.

Final Thoughts

What is good about Cockatoos is that its price range is so diverse that there is one available regardless of your budget. Further, no matter which cockatoo you go for, you are assured an intelligent and beautiful bird.

Moreover, all cockatoos require the same initial and recurring expenses for their health and maintenance. As responsible bird owners, you need to plan financially for all associated expenses to optimize your bird’s life.

Which cockatoo species best suits your preferences, environment, lifestyle, as well as your budget? We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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