The Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Wild Major Mitchell in flight

Personality Profile

The Major Mitchell is a such a striking Cockatoo, how unusual to have a striped crest. And the coral colored stripe on the underside of their wing feathers. I was always reading up on Cockatoos and there weren’t many stories out there. What information I could find, said “they don’t make good pets”? And no  explanation.  Years later, I found out first hand. They hold a grudge. They will be sweet and loving, snuggly and then if you trim wings or nails, prepare to be on their list. They will stay mad for months! I accidentally spilled some water on the feeding station and it got on one of my males, he has been mad at me for weeks.

They are kind and patient with the other birds in their colony. I house the Rose-breasted in the same colony. I understand that in Australia the Major Mitchell will intermix with the Rose-breasted, so I tried it, and they get along great. In 2000 I didn’t have enough of either to warrant building separate colonies, now that I have a larger population, they are all great friends. So, they happily stay together. This is the only time I had mixed species of Cockatoo work well together. Update: as of 2021 the Rosebreasted and Major Mitchells decided, after 20 years, they don’t like each other anymore. Looks like I will be building a new enclosure this coming summer.

The call of the Major Mitchell sounds like a high-pitched dog squeaky toy mixed with a yodel. It does not sound like the typical Cockatoo scream. Luckily, they don’t use it very often.


They are sweet to any new bird, Rose-breasted or Major
Mitchell. The Major Mitchell’s have a calm energy, they move slowly so, it is
ideal for a new bird that may feel intimated.

The Major Mitchell’s and Rose-breasted Cockatoo’s are not very destructive birds. Something you don’t normally say when talking about Cockatoos.


Fun Story

Several of the Major Mitchell’s hang upside down, perfectly still, looks like they are dead, during rain storms. That is how they take a rain bath! They don’t move! They have their wings spread out but no flapping. Now
the other birds in that colony are doing the typical wing flapping, rocking
back and forth. My heart would drop every time I saw them. None of the Cockatoos here, do the possum rain bath. 


Wild Major Mitchells Australia

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