Citron Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata)
One of six subspecies of the Lessor Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
and perhaps the most distinct. Unlike the other five subspecies,
all of which have yellow ear coverts and a yellow crest, Citron
Cresteds have orange ear coverts and an orange crest. Citron Cresteds
occur only on Sumba Island in Indonesia, where it is considered
common. Citrons inhabit a tropical dry forest, where rainfall
is very seasonal, causing trees to turn brown during dry spells.
During this time these birds, which congregate in the treetops,
are quite conspicuous. Citrons feed on a variety of seeds, nuts,
fruits, berries and blossoms.
During the 1980's quite a few Lessor Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
were imported into the USA, but relatively few of them were Citron
Crested. Lessors have never been prolific breeders and Citron
Cresteds even less so. I fact, they are probably the most difficult
to breed of all the white cockatoos in aviculture. Once a pair
is established, however, they will produce well. The problem is
establishing breeding pairs and the ratio of breeding pairs to
non-breeding pairs is low.
At Emerald Forest, we typically pull the eggs for artificial
incubation and hand rear the babies from day one. They are easy
to handfeed and wean in approximately twelve weeks. The adults
are fed a diet of Mazuri Parrot pellets, soak and cook bean mix,
mixed vegetables and fresh water daily.
Citron Crested Cockatoos are very playful, animated birds. They
have a high energy level and are very amusing, affectionate, and
friendly birds. Citrons, like all other cockatoos, need lots of
toys and chewables. They are good talkers, and are easily trained.
Be aware that all cockatoos are great escape artists and can open
just about any cage door, so a lock is a necessity. Citrons make
great pets for an individual or a family, and can be a lively
addition to your home.