noun \ˈkä-kə-ˌtü\

: a type of large parrot from Australia that has a large colorful bunch of feathers on top of its head

plural cock·a·toos

Full Definition of COCKATOO

:  any of various large noisy chiefly Australasian crested parrots (family Cacatuidae and especially genus Cacatua)

Illustration of COCKATOO

Origin of COCKATOO

Dutch kaketoe, from Malay kakatua
First Known Use: 1634


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).—Warren Garst/Tom Stack & Associates

Any of 21 species of crested parrots (family Cacatuidae), found in Australia and from New Guinea to the Solomon Islands. Most species are white with touches of red or yellow; some are black. All have a massive beak used to crack nuts, dig up roots, or pry grubs from wood; feeding is aided by a wormlike tongue. Treetop, hole-nesting birds, cockatoos at times form large, noisy flocks that damage crops. The largest cockatoo (the palm, or great black, cockatoo) is about 25–30 in. (65–75 cm) long. Some cockatoos live more than 50 years.


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