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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo


Sulpher-crested Cockatoo


Cacatua galerita


The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is one of the most familiar and well known of our parrots. They are a large white bird with a distinctive yellow crest. The blackish bill is very strong and adapted for tearing wood, opening seed capsules and digging. They have a faint yellow wash on the cheeks, underwing and undertail.

Their flight is stiff winged with a flap-flap-glide pattern. They hold their colourful crest up and open when they land. In a group they can be very noisy with raucous piercing screeches and squawks. They gather in large groups and sometimes mix with other white cockatoos such as Corellas.

They feed both on the ground in grasslands and parks and in trees in woodlands and rainforests, eating a wide variety of seeds, nuts, berries, fruits and wood boring larvae. Their feeding habits can be quite destructive and they can pull up grass roots in manicured lawns or strip leaves off trees.

They are found mainly in the eastern and northern parts of Australia in a wide diversity of habits including rainforests, eucalyptus forests and woodlands, farmlands, city parks and gardens.

Breeding usually occurs from August to January and the male displays to the female by raising his crest and bobbing his head up and down. The nest is placed in a nearly vertical hollow branch or trunk of a tree, often near water. They lay two to three eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about a month. The chicks are covered in a pale yellow down and are fed by the adults for several months.

These cockatoos can be found throughout the Parklands and are present all year round. They should be easy to find and watching their antics can be quite interesting.

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Popular locations for birding

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