Common name: Palm cockatoo
Scientific name: Probosciger atterimus
The Palm Cockatoo also known as the Goliath Cockatoo, is a large smoky-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family and this species is unique in its kind. It is the only member in subfamily Microglossinae and monotypic genus Probosciger.
The Palm Cockatoo is distributed in rainforests and woodlands of New Guinea and northern Queensland, Australia. It measures around 55-60 cm (22-24 in) in length and weighs between 500-1,000 g. It is a distinctive bird with a large crest and has one of the largest bills of any parrots (only the Hyacinth Macaw’s is larger). This powerful bill allows Palm Cockatoos to eat very hard nuts and seeds that other species have difficulty accessing. The bill is unusual as the lower and upper mandibles do not meet for much of its length, allowing the tongue to hold a nut against the top mandible while the lower mandible works to open it. The Palm Cockatoo also has a distinctive red cheek patch that changes colour when the bird is alarmed or excited.
Berries are common fruit that the Palm Cockatoos consume.
The Palm Cockatoo makes four different kinds of vocalisations, including a “hellow” call that is surprisingly human-like. There are distinct dialects throughout the species’ range. It has a unique display where the bird (typically the male) drums a large branch against a dead bough or tree, creating a loud noise that can be heard up to 100 m away. It is possible that females can assess the durability of the nesting hollow by the resonance of this drumming display.
Palm Cockatoos lay only one egg per year and have one of the highest rates of natural breeding failure of all parrots.
This species is in high demand for the pet trade due to its unusual appearance.
Species: P. aterrimus
Category: Bird Description