Bare-Eyed Cockatoo


The bare-eyed cockatoo is a medium sized white bird with short, white crests, blue eye rings, and a small pink patch between the eyes and nostrils. Males and females look similar, but males tend to be larger than females.


The bare-eyed cockatoo is native to Australia and Southern New Guinea. You can find them in abundance in eucalyptus-bordering watercourses in Australia. Because of this, they’re great climbers, often opting to use their feet to move through brush rather than flying. They will roost in the nearby trees overnight, congregating in flocks of several thousand. Early in the morning, they leave their perch and head for a watering hole. This behavior is so consistent that early travelers would use the bare-eyed cockatoos as a guide, following the flocks in order to find water.

Friend or Foe?

Bare-eyed cockatoos are intelligent, affectionate, playful birds. However, they can be very destructive. They’re known for chewing on everything from tree branches to electrical wire. They also invade cultivated areas and damage crops. Due to their destructive tendencies and large population, they are considered pests in Australia.

This being said, bare-eyed cockatoos are less demanding and noisy than most other cockatoo species. When in captivity, they require a fair amount of attention and enrichment to ensure they do not become bored. 

Where are they?

These birds live at the Children’s Animal Center.

The bare-eyed cockatoos here are social and will likely be viewable on days where the weather is agreeable.

Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Cacatua sanguinea

Species Survival Plan



Riverside woodlands near grasslands and agricultural areas


Grass seeds, crops, fruits, berries, buds, flowers, nuts and insect larvae

Originally Native To

Australia and Southern New Guinea


White bird with yellow underwings and red down feathers around the face; has a ring around the eye that is of a bluish color


Unknown in the wild,
Captivity 50 years

Social Behavior

Extremely social, live in large flocks