Goffin's Cockatoo

Goffin's Cockatoo

Goffin’s corella, Tanimbar corella

Cacatua goffiniana
Population size
100-500 Thou
Life Span
35-40 years
g oz 
cm inch 

The Tanimbar corella (Cacatua goffiniana ), also known as Goffin's cockatoo, is a species of cockatoo endemic to forests of Yamdena, Larat and Selaru, all islands in the Tanimbar Islands archipelago in Indonesia. It has been introduced to the Kai Islands, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Singapore. This species was only formally described in 2004, after it was discovered that the previous formal descriptions pertained to individuals of a different cockatoo species, the Ducorps' or Solomons cockatoo (Cacatua ducorpsii ). Tanimbar corellas are the smallest of the white cockatoos. It is classified as Near Threatened due to deforestation and bird trade. It breeds well in captivity and there is a large avicultural population.


This cockatoo is amongst the smaller of the cockatoo species. The male and female look the same. At first sight they look like a white cockatoo with salmon/peachy/pink feathers on the face, and a pale gray bill. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers have a yellowish tinge. The same as all members in the Cacatuidae family, a Goffin's cockatoo is crested, meaning with a bunch of feathers on its head that it can raise or lower. These cockatoos are very graceful when flying.



Introduced Countries
Biogeographical realms

Goffin’s cockatoos are endemic to Yamdena, Selaru, and Larat, islands in Indonesia’s Tanimbar Islands archipelago. This species lives in or on the edges of the tropical forest.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Goffin’s cockatoos are diurnal and require daylight to find their food. They typically inhabit coastal lowland forests in flocks of up to 300. They feed up in the treetops and also raid maize crops. They are conspicuous noisy birds and are usually observed in small flocks or in pairs during the mating season. Pet Goffin’s cockatoos hand-reared from hatching are able to imitate human speech, but in general they do not make good talkers. Usually they are quiet, but can utter a loud screeching noise. Good as pets, they are sociable and friendly. Like most cockatoos, they like being handled and stroked. These birds are intelligent and can be trained and will learn tricks.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Goffin’s cockatoos are omnivorous, feeding in the treetops on nuts, seeds, berries, fruit, and blossoms, as well as insects and their larvae.

Mating Habits

28 days
8-11 weeks
2-3 eggs

This species is monogamous, and mates form long-lasting bonds. Not much is known about their reproductive behavior. They nest in tree hollows. Usually a clutch numbers 2-3 eggs. Male and female both share the incubation, which is for approximately 28 days. Chicks fledge at around 8-11 weeks.


Population threats

Goffin’s cockatoo populations are under threat from habitat loss and illegal capturing for the trade in cage birds.

Population number

The IUCN Red List records the total of the Goffin’s cockatoo population size as around 100,000-499,999 individuals. The population in Taiwan is about 100 introduced breeding pairs. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) and their numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

As eaters of fruit, Goffin’s cockatoos help disperse seeds.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Cockatoos can copy the sounds made by other animals, including people.
  • A cockatoo is able to hold its food in one foot while breaking pieces off with the other foot.
  • Goffin’s cockatoos are named after a Dutch naval officer, Andreas Leopold Goffin, who was a friend of Otto Finsch, the naturalist, who discovered the bird.
  • This species has the reputation of being a “quieter cockatoo”. But it will screech, especially if it wants your attention. Not the best talker, this cockatoo might learn a good number of words and phrases.
  • Goffin’s cockatoos are fond of dancing to music, as are many other cockatoos.
  • Goffin’s cockatoos are very intelligent and particularly good at working out how to unlock the doors of cages. A study by Oxford University study in 2013 showed how these cockatoos are able to solve complex mechanical problems that involved undoing a number of locks in a series. One of them unlocked them all unaided in under two hours; and many of the others solved the problem with some help or by watching another cockatoo.


1. Goffin's Cockatoo Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanimbar_corella
2. Goffin's Cockatoo on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22684800/0
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/608062

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