Cacatua is a genus of cockatoos found from the Philippines and Wallacea east to the Solomon Islands and south to Australia. They have a primarily white plumage (in some species tinged pinkish or yellow), an expressive crest, and a black (subgenus Cacatua) or pale (subgenus Licmetis) bill. Today, several species from this genus are considered threatened due to a combination of habitat loss and capture for the wild bird trade, with the blue-eyed cockatoo, Moluccan cockatoo, and umbrella cockatoo considered vulnerable, and the red-vented cockatoo and yellow-crested cockatoo considered critically endangered.

Cacatua galerita -perching on branch -crest-8a-2c.jpg
Cacatua galerita
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae
Subfamily: Cacatuinae
Genus: Cacatua
Vieillot, 1817
Type species
Cacatua galerita
Latham, 1790

11, see text

Cacatoa sp - MHNT

The genus was first described by Brisson in 1790, with the white cockatoo (C. alba) subsequently designated as the type species. Georges Cuvier defined the genus Kakatoe in 1800, with the red-vented cockatoo (C. haematuropygia) as the type, and some older bird books use the latter name. Mayr, Keast and Serventy validated Cacatua in 1964, and dismissed Kakatoe.[1]


Subgenus Image Common name Scientific name Distribution
Cacatua - true white cockatoos   Yellow-crested (or lesser sulphur-crested) cockatoo, Cacatua (Cacatua) sulphurea East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas
  Sulphur-crested cockatoo Cacatua (Cacatua) galerita Australia, and New Guinea and some of the islands of Indonesia
  Blue-eyed cockatoo Cacatua (Cacatua) ophthalmica New Britain in Papua New Guinea
  White (or umbrella) cockatoo Cacatua (Cacatua) alba Halmahera, Bacan, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta and Mandioli (Bacan group) in North Maluku, Indonesia
  Salmon-crested (or Moluccan) cockatoo Cacatua (Cacatua) moluccensis Seram archipelago in eastern Indonesia
Licmetis - corellas   Long-billed corella Cacatua (Licmetis) tenuirostris Australia
  Western corella Cacatua (Licmetis) pastinator South-western Australia
  Little corella Cacatua (Licmetis) sanguinea Australia and southern New Guinea
  Tanimbar corella (or Goffin's cockatoo) Cacatua (Licmetis) goffiniana Yamdena, Larat and Selaru, all islands in the Tanimbar Islands archipelago in Indonesia
  Solomons cockatoo (or Ducorps's cockatoo) Cacatua (Licmetis) ducorpsii Solomon Islands archipelago
  Red-vented (or Philippine) cockatoo Cacatua (Licmetis) haematuropygia Philippines


  1. ^ Mayr EW, Keast A, Serventy DL (1964). "The name Cacatua Brisson, 1760 (Aves): Proposed validation under the Plenary Powers Z.N. (S.) 1647". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 21: 372–74.
  • Juniper, T., & M. Parr (1998). A Guide to the Parrots of the World. Pica Press, East Sussex. ISBN 1-873403-40-2