The umbrella cockatoo at the Caldwell Zoo is named Sunny. He can be quite loud with his calls. This parrot-like bird is not quite as adept at learning to “talk” as some other species, but will learn some words or phrases if repeated often. Although we may not see them as we visit Sunny, he does have beautiful pale yellow feathers on the undersides of his wings and tail.

White or Umbrella Cockatoo

Cacatus alba

Habitat: Tropical rainforest islands of Indonesia

Diet in the wild: Seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, some insects and even small lizards

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Parrot pellets, squash, apples, oranges, carrots, sweet potato, parrot seed mix

Size: 18 inches long; weigh 14-28 ounces (males are larger than females)

Family: Monogamous, mating for life. Nest in tree cavities. Usually lay two eggs, but often raise only one since the larger, first hatched baby is fed more. Young is independent at 15-18 weeks of age

Status: Endangered due to pet trade in cage birds and habitat loss

Did you know? When this cockatoo is surprised, it extends its large crest which has an umbrella-like shape—thus the name “umbrella cockatoo.”


Sunny is very lovable and easy going and will even snuggle up in keepers coats at times. He is a major show boat and will always perform and dance for large groups in the Wild Bird Walkabout. In the winter he stays in a keeper work area and enjoys all the extra attention and treats. One of his favorite things to play with is pinecones that keepers have decorated with peanut butter.

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