Cacatua galerita

Common Name(s)

Sulphur-crested cockatoo




Sulphur-crested cockatoo occur in New Zealand in watersheds and around urban areas. During the breeding season these social birds live in pairs or in groups of small family groups, spending most of their time high in the trees. They generally build their nests in tree hollows and hollow tree limbs. They are herbivorous and mainly feed on berries, seeds, nuts and roots, bark and ocassionally insects .


Sulphur-crested cockatoo are large, white parrot with yellow crest, yellow wash on the underside of the wings and a grey to black bill. Sexes are very similar but can be distinguish by their eye colour, which is red-brown in females and dark brown in males.

Threat To Plants

Feeding on preferred plant species and competition with native bird species may alter species regeneration and vegetation composition


Main population near Turakina and Rangitikei Rivers (Wanganui) and between lower Waikato and Raglan River. Small populations elsewhere (e.g. Canterbury)


Weight; 900g; body length: 50cm

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction


Colonisation History

First introduced to New Zealand as cage birds but since the 1920s some have been escaped or been deliberately released.