Fun Palm Cockatoo Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Jan 13, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Palm cockatoo facts about the bird that likes picking up fruit and seeds from the ground.

The Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), commonly known by other names such as Goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, is a bird species belonging to the family of parrots.

The cockatoo palm is related to the parrots native family in New Guinea, Aru Islands, and Cape York Peninsula. A key difference between palm cockatoos and normal parrots is that they are quite large birds among the family of cockatoo parrots in Australia.

They have a black beak and a prominent bright red patch on their cheeks.

The palm cockatoos can range up to 49-60 cm in height with a wingspan ranging up to 70-100 cm and can weigh around 910-1,200 g.  They are also known as black cockatoo because of their prominent black color. It is a very distinctive bird with a large crest and a very large beak/bill comparing to the other cockatoo populations.

Because of its big and powerful beak, it is able to eat very hard nuts and seeds.

There is a distinctive patch in between the eyes and the beak which is simply bare skin, and red in color. The patch can also change its color if the bird is excited or alarmed.

So let's get started and read some more mind-blowing facts about one of the birds from the cockatoo species, palm cockatoos which are unique and unusual in appearance.

To discover more bird facts, why not check out our articles on the birds of paradise and barn owl.

Palm Cockatoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Palm Cockatoo?

The Palm cockatoo is a type of bird and more specifically cockatoos are a type of parrot bird species that are arboreal in nature. It is also one of the large species of bird to be found in the cockatoo population and is usually found in Australia.

What class of animal does a Palm Cockatoo belong to?

Like all the other bird species, the cockatoo palm falls under the classification of Aves i.e. warm-blooded animals with feathers and wings and which can fly.

How many Palm Cockatoos are there in the world?

The information about the total number of palm cockatoos present in the world is something which hasn't been recorded yet, but the species is considered as Least Concern in terms of total availability around the world. That tells us that there are plenty of these birds present in the current time.  

Where does a Palm Cockatoo live?

Geographically, the availability of cockatoo birds is typically restricted to certain places or countries like Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and northern Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula.

The palm cockatoos are found in a lot of common places where you can see parrots flocking around in nature which mainly consists of rainforests, such as gallery forests, forest edges, eucalypt, paperbark woodlands, monsoon woodlands, and dense savannas.

They usually prefer living in long tree branches.

What is a Palm Cockatoo's habitat?

The palm cockatoo habitat mainly consists of places like rainforests, such as gallery forests, forest edges, eucalypt, paperbark woodlands, monsoon woodlands, and dense savannas as they are very fond of living on long trees, which are easily available in these kinds of habitat. They also use the trees for different kind of activities which specifically includes nesting and roosting.

Who do Palm Cockatoos live with?

Though palm cockatoo birds, like other bird species or cockatoo species, can live along with family in the wild and in big populations, in the case of palm cockatoos you may find them living alone, in pairs, and in a large group.

It's not fixed with these parrots and their groups have certain names such as a flock, company, or pandemonium.

How long does a Palm Cockatoo live?

The exact life span of a palm cockatoo is yet unknown but with estimations taken from other cockatoos birds, it can be said that they live up to 40-60 years in the wild. Other than that, when captured or as a palm cockatoo pet, they are known to live near 100 years.

How do they reproduce?

Before getting to understand the process of reproduction in palm cockatoos you should know that these birds are solely monogamous in nature i.e. pairing with one individual.

The process of breeding among the birds usually takes place between August to January, but it can vary with the climate situation.

When the time of mating/breeding begins, both the male and female approach each other while extending their feathers and the male makes a loud noise like whistles while bowing down several times with which the cheek patch on its face also becomes deep red.

Palm cockatoos never create their own nesting tree cavities. Instead, they use previously hollowed cavities in large trees, usually in a palm tree.

The size of the nesting hole is mostly fixed in the range of 1 m in depth and 25-60 cm in diameter where they put some broken twigs or feathers to keep the eggs. They usually lay one egg per clutch, which they incubate for 30-33 days.

Though both parents participate in the process of incubation, the female among both the parents is the one who gives more time, as they take around 100-110 days to fledge, which is considered the longest in any parrot species.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the palm cockatoo is Least Concern, but there are studies that show that in the future it might come under Near Threatened due to the destruction of its natural habitat with logging and seasonal fires.

Palm Cockatoo Fun Facts

What do Palm Cockatoos look like?

The palm cockatoos have an unusual appearance compared to the other species of parrots and cockatoo species. Something about them which makes them very unique in terms of looks is that they are large parrots found in the world.

Palm cockatoos are almost fully black or gray in color with a 15 cm erectile crest on their head.

There's another feature present about their beak which is that it never closes fully, also revealing a bit of their black-tipped red tongues. This also helps them to be able to hold nuts easily and makes it easy to crack the nuts.

The mandibles are large in males than females that helps in cracking nuts too.

The red patch on the cheek of the bird population changes color based on their health or level of stress. When they are stressed, the color of the skin changes to pink/beige, while on the other hand when they are excited the skin changes to yellow.

Fun Palm Cockatoo Facts For Kids

How cute are they?

When talking about the level of cuteness of the New Guinea population birds, it should be said to be one of the cutest parrots. Their black color makes them more classic among the parrot category. Parrots are usually thought of as a cute bird and people prefer having them as a pet.

How do they communicate?

The communication skills of the palm cockatoo may vary with them being captive and being in wild. The captive birds usually pick human words and mimic them very easily whether it is our language or any kind of sound.

While talking about the wild ones they are pretty different as there are a lot of options to pick sounds from in the wild. Palm cockatoos use the sound trick to save themselves from predators and alert other members of the flock.

How big is a Palm Cockatoo?

It is one of the large birds to be found among the species of Probosciger aterrimus. The palm cockatoos' size can range up to 49-60 cm in height with a wingspan ranging up to 70-100 cm, tail length 23.8 cm, beak length 9.1 cm, and tarsus length averages 3.5 cm.

How fast can a Palm Cockatoo fly?

Usually, these birds are fond of living on top of the trees with all their nesting, breeding, and the feeding of the child which happens in the nest. They prefer being in the sky and high up in trees. The speed at which they can fly is not known.

How much does a Palm Cockatoo weigh?

The weight of palm cockatoo usually falls between 910-1,200 g, which may differ in both the male and female, as in the male it ranges from 540-1100 g and in the female it ranges from 500-950 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names for the male and female species of the black palm cockatoo birds.

What would you call a baby Palm Cockatoo?

The baby palm cockatoos start off as an egg. After hatching, they are young palm cockatoos and for the next hundred or so days, they are fledging. There is no specific name for the young of the palm cockatoo but it follows the same naming pattern as with other birds of the same species.

What do they eat?

As they are living on the top of the tree they will be eating most of the fruit that is always present on the top of the trees. Other than that they mainly eat leaf buds, seeds, insects, and their larvae.

Sometimes they feed on the fruit which is fallen on the ground which is also important in their diet.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not at all dangerous in any way. In fact, these birds are also kept in zoo as a tourist attraction.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, mostly parrots or any kind of other bird related to the palm cockatoo can be considered as a pet, and they would definitely make a good pet because people enjoy their intelligence and social nature.

Did you know...

Palm cockatoos are also known for making the loudest whistling calls and are amongst the loudest ones in the parrot species.

They are also known to have the largest bill of any parrot except for the hyacinth macaw.

The palm cockatoo plays an important role in the transferring of the fruit seeds.

Caring for Palm Cockatoos

This species of cockatoo is in very high demand for the pet trade due to its unusual appearance. It is important to understand the caring tips for these birds.

As they take food very early, you have to feed them as quickly as they need or demand. Their diet is fixed with fruits and nuts.

If you are a person with a busy schedule then these birds are not meant for you to have as a pet. They require a big cage and large space to live because of their size.

How rare is the black Palm Cockatoo?

These birds actually escalate between being very common in the habitat and area where it is found and rare and exotic for the areas where can't be seen and are sometimes been exported.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including secretary bird, or great green macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Palm Cockatoo coloring pages.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

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Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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