Profiles

SULPHUR CRESTED COCKATOO

(CacatuaGalerita)

Family: Parrot

Origin: Widely distributed in most timbered country throughout northern, eastern and south-eastern Australia. Also found in Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Size: Length is 490mm including 210mm tail. 

Description:

The male and female adult birds are similar to look at. The feathers are white with a narrow forward yellow crest, the ear coverts and base of the cheek and throat have yellow feathers. Undersides of flight and tail feathers are washed with yellow. It has brown eyes, a grey-black beak and dark grey legs.

Habitat:

The "cocky" is one of the most instantly recognizable birds throughout Australia and lives in varied forests, woodlands and open country.

They are often heard before they are seen as they usually fly around in a large flock with a combined screeching call that can be deafening.

At your place: Any attempt to bring these great Aussie birds into your home should begin with planting a wide variety of native trees (for shelter and protection) in your backyard. These birds also prefer to nest in hollow tree trunks and branches and will appreciate their presence in your backyard along with a good supply of fresh bird seed and water.

Cockatoos are powerful and occasionally destructive birds so make sure any food and water dishes you put out for them are tough wearing - stainless steel bowls are ideal. Dishes should be cleaned regularly with a mild detergent to prevent mould from setting in.

Eats:

A good quality seed mix such as HARMONY™ Wild Bird Mix is an ideal supplement to the natural diet of these birds and is a great way to attract these birds to your home. For the occasional treat, try putting out some fresh fruit and vegetables such as sliced apple and lettuce.

Call:

An extremely noisy call which is a harsh screech ending with an upward inflection. When alarmed they invoke a succession of abrupt guttural screeches. When feeding, or preening, they have an occasional squawk or a two syllable whistle.

Personality

A boisterous and lively bird that can live up to 100 years of age.

When in a large flock many birds will fly down to the ground from their tree-top perches and forage for seed, grain, roots and wild nuts while others remain in the trees to look out for danger. When alarmed or angry, this fabulous bird will raise its spectacular sulphur-yellow crest.

Breeding:

The female usually only lays two eggs with both sexes sharing the nesting duties throughout the 30 day incubation period. Once hatched, the chicks remain in the nest for six weeks at which time they are mature enough to fend for themselves.

In the north of Australia, breeding usually lasts from May to August or from August to January in the south.