Cockatoos are in the parrot family Psittacidae. Cockatoos are characterized by a stunning crest on the top of their head. All cockatoos are native to Australia and the surrounding South Pacific Islands. They are very active and intelligent requiring a great deal of attention. They are long-lived; some can live to be over a hundred. They are avid chewers capable of splintering wood in a few minutes. Cockatoos have a peculiar feather structure which constantly produces a powdery talc material that acts as a cleansing agent and gives the birds a chalky appearance. They are known for their powerful voice and noisy chorus most mornings and late afternoons. They are viewed as a nuisance by farmers because they are capable of a great deal of crop damage. Their numbers in the wild are also declining because of the pet industry.
Pharaoh was given to Critter Creek Wildlife Station in an effort to comfort the other cockatoo (Peaches) who has always been overly stressed by captivity. Pharaoh was too loud for the apartment dwelling owner and has been a pet for all of his life, so he is better adjusted to captivity. He is a Moluccan or Salmon Crested Cockatoo. He has provided company and comfort to Peaches. They are both capable of such loud vocalizations in the morning or late afternoon that they set off the resident coyotes.