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Western corella
Cacatua pastinator

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Cacatúa Cavadora



The Western corella (Cacatua pastinator) is a cockatoo of medium size and quite stocky; 43-48 cm.. in length and a weight ranging from 560 and 815 gr.

Mostly white with a wash of red orange color in prominent lores, a strong washing yellow at the bottom of the wings and tail, orbital ring blue-gray; bill pale grey, and legs and feet grey.

It also, the feathers of the head, the neck and the chest have bases red orange that, Although normally hidden, they may be exposed during the Act of grooming or stands by the wind.

The male and female look the same.

The immature They are very similar to adult birds, but they can be distinguished when viewed up close; the texture Nonsquamous bill, washing pale yellow in ear-coverts, the upper jaw shorter and pale and bare periophthalmic less pronounced.

Description 2 subspecies

  • Cacatua pastinator derbyi

    (Mathews, 1916) – Significantly smaller and with a bill shorter.

  • Cacatua pastinator pastinator

    (Gould, 1841) – Nominal.


The habitat of the Western corella seems very fragmented. Much of the original habitat has been lost due to logging, the dieback of the field due to processes as soil salinization and degradation.

the Western corella It is now confined to small remnants of their former habitat, including trees isolated in areas cleared of native vegetation. It has been able to persist in small remnants of habitat in agricultural regions because these regions provide permanent water and an abundant food source., but many of these areas are now being converted into plantations Eucalytpus globulus or vegetable crops, which are not suitable for this species.


The breeding season, generally, It covers the months from September to November.
It lays its eggs in rotten wood or at the base of a hollow wood dust, or hole in a dead tree trunk, especially eucalyptus (Corymbia calophylla and Eucalyptus marginata).

Pairs may use a different tree hollow for breeding each year or may use the same hollow for up to three consecutive seasons.

The clutches They consist of a four white eggs are incubated for a period of 26 to 29 days.
The role of parents in the incubation of the eggs and the care of young people has not been registered, but it is likely that both parents hatch the eggs and feed the young.

The incipient period and the period of independence It is not registered, but it is likely that the young remain in the nest during 53 to 67 days and become independent three months after leaving the nest.

The survival rates adult and immature birds are unknown, but the younger, they probably die until they are able to reproduce.


It feeds mainly from seeds but also takes insect larvae, bulbs, tubers, fruits and possibly nectar.

There is little information available about seasonal variation in the diet, but the seeds of cereal grasses are important in summer and early autumn, and seeds and bulbs R. rosea, that they are common in the diet throughout the year, they are probably the main source of food from late autumn to spring.

It´s gregarious. use your upper jaw long to unearth the underground parts of various native plants growing in the forest. Also pulls bulbs when soil is moist, and unearths the cereals in germination.


Size of its range (reproduction / resident): 258.000 km2

Currently is recognized two separate populations, both confined in southwest Western Australia.
You can find up to 400 meters above sea level.

Distribution 2 subspecies

  • Cacatua pastinator derbyi

    (Mathews, 1916) – It is located in the northern wheat belt of Western Australia.

  • Cacatua pastinator pastinator

    (Gould, 1841) – Nominal. It is found in most southwest Australia, to the South of Perth from the rivers Swan and Avon in the North, to Augusta in the west and Broome in the East.


• Current IUCN Red List category: Least concern.

• Population trend: Growing

The total world population not known, It is estimated in 3000 individuals, but it is believed that it may be expanding due to the increase in agricultural areas and with it a greater availability of food. The legal protection by the legislation also plays an important role for the survival of these species.

The decrease in the population of the south is attributed to persecution by farmers who regard the species as a pest for crops.

It keeps in captivity in the Perth Zoo and by licensed poultry farmers as part of a captive breeding program initiated by the Department of Conservation and Land Management WA en 1995.

The Burrowing Cockatoo in captivity:

Very rare in captivity.

It can be loud and aggressive with other birds. Has the ability to imitate and creates strong bonds with their caregivers.
In captivity it can live more than 50 years.

Alternative names:

Western Corella, Bare-eyed Long-billed Corella, Corella, Eastern Long-billed Corella, Western Long-billed Cockatoo, Western Long-billed Corella (ingles).
Cacatoès laboureur, Cacatoès à nez rose, Cacatoès à oeil nu, Cacatoès à oil nu (French).
Wühlerkakadu (German).
Cacatua-pastinator (Portuguese).
Cacatúa Cavadora (español).

John Gould
John Gould

scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae
Genus: Cockatoo
Scientific name: Cacatua pastinator
Citation: (Gould, 1841)
Protonimo: Licmetis pastinato

Images Burrowing Cockatoo:

Species of the genus Cacatua

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