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Corella vs. Cockatoo — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Updated on March 26, 2024
Corellas are a subcategory of cockatoos, smaller in size, known for their less robust beaks and noise level, whereas cockatoos are a diverse group of larger, often louder birds with strong beaks.
Corella vs. Cockatoo — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Corella and Cockatoo


Key Differences

Corellas are specific types of cockatoos, characterized by their smaller stature and generally less imposing beaks compared to other members of the cockatoo family. They are noted for their playful nature and can be somewhat less noisy than their larger relatives. Cockatoos, on the other hand, encompass a broader category of birds within the family Cacatuidae, which includes corellas but also larger species like the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and the Black Cockatoo. Cockatoos are known for their distinctive crests, strong beaks used for cracking nuts and seeds, and a wide range of vocalizations that can be quite loud.
Corellas, while part of the cockatoo family, often live in large flocks and can be found in various habitats across Australia and nearby regions. They have a more streamlined look and lack the prominent crests found in many other cockatoo species. Cockatoos, with their diversity, showcase a range of behaviors, sizes, and habitats, but all share the trait of being highly social and intelligent birds with a capacity for loud calls and complex social structures.
The distinction between corellas and the broader category of cockatoos lies not only in physical characteristics but also in the behaviors and ecological niches they occupy. While corellas may adapt more readily to a variety of environments, including urban areas, larger cockatoos often require specific habitats that provide ample food and nesting opportunities.
Recognizing the differences between corellas and other cockatoos is essential for bird enthusiasts, conservationists, and pet owners alike, as it influences care requirements, behavioral expectations, and conservation strategies. Despite these differences, both corellas and cockatoos share the need for environmental enrichment, social interaction, and protection to thrive in both wild and captive settings.

Comparison Chart




Less robust
Strong and robust

Noise Level

Generally less noisy
Can be quite loud


Lacks prominent crests
Often has a distinctive crest


Adaptable to various environments
Requires specific habitats

Social Structure

Large flocks
Complex social structures


Little Corella, Long-billed Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Black Cockatoo

Compare with Definitions


A smaller, less noisy subgroup of cockatoos.
The Little Corella is often seen foraging on the ground in large flocks.


A diverse group of larger, often louder birds with strong beaks.
The Black Cockatoo is known for its striking appearance and powerful beak.


Known for its playful nature and adaptability.
Corellas have adapted well to urban environments, often seen in parks.


Features a distinctive crest, varying by species.
The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo's yellow crest is iconic.


Lacks the prominent crests of other cockatoos.
Unlike its cousin, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, the corella has a more subdued appearance.


Known for intelligence and ability to form strong bonds with humans.
Cockatoos can learn tricks and recognize individual people.


Often found in large flocks, showing complex social behaviors.
Flocks of corellas can be seen performing aerial acrobatics at dusk.


Exhibits a wide range of vocalizations and behaviors.
Cockatoos are capable of mimicking sounds and developing complex social bonds.


Characterized by their streamlined look and sociability.
Corellas are social birds that thrive on interaction with their flock.


Requires specific habitats with ample food and nesting opportunities.
Many cockatoo species are dependent on forested areas for survival.


Any of several species of white cockatoo of the subgenus Licmetis within genus Cacatua.


A cockatoo is any of the 21 parrot species belonging to the family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea. Along with the Psittacoidea (true parrots) and the Strigopoidea (large New Zealand parrots), they make up the order Psittaciformes.


A parrot with an erectile crest, found in Australia, eastern Indonesia, and neighbouring islands.


A small-scale farmer.


A lookout posted by those engaged in illegal activity
He is alleged to act as cockatoo during these meetings


Any of various parrots of the family Cacatuidae of Australia and adjacent areas, characterized by a long erectile crest.


A bird of the family Cacatuidae with a curved beak and a zygodactyl foot.
We saw some cockatoos in the aviary.


A lookout posted during a two-up game, when gambling was illegal.


A bird of the Parrot family, of the subfamily Cacatuinæ, having a short, strong, and much curved beak, and the head ornamented with a crest, which can be raised or depressed at will. There are several genera and many species; as the broad-crested cockatoo (Plictolophus cristatus or Cacatua cristatus), the sulphur-crested (Cacatua galerita or Plictolophus galeritus), etc. The palm cockatoo or great black cockatoo of Australia is Probosciger aterrimus (formerly Microglossus aterrimus).


White or light-colored crested parrot of the Australian region; often kept as cage birds

Common Curiosities

How can I identify a corella?

Look for a smaller size, streamlined appearance without a large crest, and behavior such as flocking in large numbers.

What are the conservation statuses of corellas and cockatoos?

Conservation status varies by species, with some cockatoos like the Palm Cockatoo being listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss and other threats.

Can corellas and cockatoos be kept as pets?

Yes, both can be kept as pets, but they require significant care, social interaction, and environmental enrichment.

Are all cockatoos loud?

While cockatoos are known for being vocal, the volume and frequency of noise can vary widely among species.

Do corellas have the same strong beaks as other cockatoos?

Corellas have strong beaks, but they are generally less robust compared to the larger cockatoos known for cracking hard nuts.

What habitat do corellas prefer?

Corellas are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments, including urban areas, whereas other cockatoos may require more specific habitats.

What makes a corella different from other cockatoos?

Corellas are smaller, generally less noisy, and lack the prominent crests that many cockatoos have.

Can corellas mimic human speech like other cockatoos?

Corellas, like many cockatoos, have the ability to mimic sounds, including human speech, though this ability varies among individuals.

What are the social behaviors of cockatoos?

Cockatoos, including corellas, exhibit complex social behaviors, from forming bonds with mates to engaging in play and communal roosting.

Why is it important to differentiate between corellas and other cockatoos?

Understanding the differences helps in providing appropriate care for pets, contributing to conservation efforts, and appreciating the diversity within the Cacatuidae family.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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