"Our "Chatty" Cockatoo!"
A favourite pet around Australia is our Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
There are some 13 species, they can live up to 60 years and longer. They are able to learn to mimic words or talk a little.
If you were to choose one off a shelf you would have a colour choice of white, black or pink and they all have wonderful erectable crests, cockatoos are a relation of the Macaws.
Native to Australia and the islands of the southern Pacific and they are considered to be one of the smartest and prettiest birds in the world and are sort after as pets. They range in size from about 25cm to 55cm and have a extended life span, living to 60 years and more.
The white bird, has a bright yellow crest that covers its bald spot on the top of its head the crest opens forward in a spring type manner and curves over the crown. When closed, it forms a pretty yellow plume at the back of the bird's head. The underside of the bird's wings and tail are yellow. The cockatoo has a strong curved black beak and the males and females look alike.
Cockatoos are very smart, intelligent creatures; they eat the seeds of grasses plants, plant roots, a range of berries, buds and some grains, oats and maize are favourites and they also eat the insects and grubs on the crops, and are known to pull and eat weeds. They will feed morning and night and spend part of there day in trees stripping off leaves, small branches and the bark.
Cockatoos breed from August through January in the south states of Australia and May through September in the north. They love to nest in the hollow of trees usually high some where near water. The female will lay between two and three, eggs and both male and female birds share incubation. 30 days is the norm, The chicks remain in the hollow nest for up to six weeks and cockatoos mate for life.
In the north of Australia the birds live in smaller groups and as they travel south group together into larger flocks. When feeding you will notice some of the birds remain on the higher branches to keep watch and warn off intruders.
The sulphur-crested cockatoo has an extremely loud call or screech when in flocks the birds all calling together can be very loud. They are acrobatic, puzzle solvers, born escapists, affectionate and are good performers with a natural curiosity. They have powerful beaks can break open most nuts and can destroy timer, including your favourite balcony rails.
Pink Breasted Cockatoo
Known often as a "Galah".
Photos courtesy of Glenn Budd and Jon Walton