Sulphur- crested Cockatoo
Sulphur- crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is one of the best known parrots, it is a large parrot, measuring about 45cm (18 inches). It has a dark grey-black bill
Cockatoos have white feathered body and an impressive yellow crest. I would say that the most striking feature of this magnificent bird is its scratchy, squawky call. Its ear-piercing screech, often heard at sunrise or in the early evening announces the cockatoo's arrival or departure from its roosting tree.
Sulphur-crested cockatoos are common and familiar in Australia, you will find Sulphur-crested cockatoos in the timbered forests of northern and eastern Australia and into Tasmania as well as around Perth. They can be found in a variety of timbered environments building nests in tree hollows.
They are also common around in human settlements and they are also popular pets although it is sad that they are kept in cages. They can live for more than 65 years, so if you have a cockatoo you have a life-long pet. They are known to have mimicry abilities and can learn to speak.
Sulphur-crested cockatoos's diet consist of berries, seeds, nuts and roots. Sad to say that some people considered the cockatoos pest in some areas because it uses its powerful bill to destroy timber decking and panelling on houses.
I took the photos of the cockatoos in my backyard, they like to eat the pine cones, I don't really know if they are really eating the seeds but I know they are biting off the small branches and leaves probably to keep their beaks in good shapes and help the trees flourish.
Did you know?
- Cockatoos have zygodactyl feet - two toes forward and two toes pointing backward . These feet are perfectly adapted for climbing and holding and for gripping branches to eat seeds while hanging upside down in trees. Sometimes you will see cockatoos spinning around on branches simply to have fun, they are nature's acrobats.
- When a flock of cockatoos are feeding on the ground, often they have one or two others on lookout in a tree surveying the area. This is a great warning system - the cockatoos screech loudly if there is an intruder and everyone disappeared.
Amazing Cockatoo Facts
- The oldest authenticated Sulphur-crested Cockatoo died in London Zoo in 1982. It was over 80 years old.
- Sulphur-crested cockatoos originally congregated west of the Great Dividing Range but have now moved eastwards where there is more water. And pet cockatoos that have been released or escaped are now resident in the cities.
- Large old trees with hollowed trunks make perfect nests for some cockatoos. If those trees are removed, the birds are likely to disappear.
- Sulphur-crested cockatoos lay up to three eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 30 days before hatching.
- Cockatoos are large parrots with crests. All species are found only in Australasia.
- Each flock of cockatoos has its own roosting site. They fly long distances in search of food.