The Yellow-crested cockatoo usually has white plumage, and on its head is a yellow crest that curves forwards. Its wings and tail on the undersides are also yellow, its bill is black, and its feet gray. Females have reddish-brown eyes and males have black eyes. The skin around their eyes is bluish. Juveniles have a gray iris, and chicks are born with patchy yellow down.
The Yellow-crested cockatoo native to East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas. There is also introduced population in Hong Kong developed from caged birds that have been released. This cockatoo inhabits forest, forest edge, scrub and cultivated areas from sea-level up to about 1500 meters.
Yellow-crested cockatoos in the wild are friendly and peaceful. These birds live in small flocks or pairs, sometimes gathering in very large flocks when feeding. They are noisy, and often make rough shrieking sounds. They can also make smoother and softer whistling sounds. They are active, high-energy animals. They are playful and gentle, tending to be shy.
Yellow-crested cockatoos are monogamous birds, and pairs stay together for life. On Sumba Island, mating occurs from September to May. These birds nest in tree cavities. Their eggs are white and usually 2 are laid. Incubation is shared by the male and the female, for about 28 days, the chicks leaving their nest after about 75 days.
The main threats to the Yellow-crested cockatoo are the pet trade, in terms of unsustainable over-exploitation, and habitat loss.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of Yellow-crested cockatoos is fewer than 7,000 individuals (including 1,500-7,000 mature individuals): 3,200-5,000 birds on Sumba Island; 500 birds on Komodo Island, 200-300 birds on Timor Leste Island, 200-300 birds on Sulawesi Island, 20-50 birds on West Timor, 40-70 birds on Flores Island, 50-100 birds on Sumbawa Island, and 100 birds on Rinca Island. Overall this species' population is decreasing today and it is classified as critically endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List.