Palm Cockatoo
Probosciger aterrimus

Palm Cockatoo

51 - 64 cm. height and a weight between 910 and 1200 g.

The Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) It is one of the biggest cockatoo species. Unmistakable with a Erectile Crest of 15 cm.. Mainly arboreal.

Both sexes differ in size. Immatures are differentiated by the pale yellow at the bottom and the tip of the bill and the eye ring in color white.

Usually black with a bare area around the cheeks and eyes red. The feathers of the crest they are long and thin, black streaks.

The bill is dark gray, smaller in the female. The legs son grises. The language is black and Red.

The cheek skin changes color according to its health or stress level, a pink / beige to a yellow when it is excited.

Description 4 supespecies

  • Probosciger aterrimus aterrimus

    (Gmelin, 1788) – Nominal.

  • Probosciger aterrimus goliath

    (Kuhl, 1820) – Larger than the subspecies macgillivrayi.

  • Probosciger aterrimus macgillivrayi

    (Mathews, 1912) – Larger than the species nominal.

  • Probosciger aterrimus stenolophus

    (Oort Cloud, 1911) – As the subspecies Goliath, but with feathers crest closer.

  • Sound of the Palm Cockatoo.
[audio:HTTPS:// Enlutada.mp3]


The presence of this cockatoo is documented from sea level up to the 1350 metres in height.

In New Guinea they are in tropical rainforests, including Gallery forests, edges of forests and monsoon forests. In Australia they live in forests of eucalyptus, forest of Melaleuca, partially cleared areas and sheets.

You are travelling individually, in pairs or in groups of five or six. About an hour after the Sunrise gather in the trees.


The nesting occurs between August and February.
Nest in the cavities of trees which tend to be of approximately 1 m depth and 25 - 60 cm in diameter. These are full of branches broken at the bottom on which rests the egg. The site is often used year after year.
Reproduce every two years. They put a single egg and both parents the hatch for a period of 28 - 31 days, at around 3 - 4 days more for hatch. The squab was born completely naked and does not develop marker, Unlike other cockatoos chicks. They are taken from 100 - 110 days to abandon the nest, the longest among all the species of parrot. After leaving the nest, the young bird depends on the parents at least others 6 weeks because of its inability to fly.


Seeds, dried fruits, fruit, berries, sprouts leaves and insect larvae.
They feed mainly in the forest canopy, but they can also feed on the ground of fallen seeds and fruits.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 716.000 km2

New Guinea and adjacent islands, North of Queensland, Australia.

Distribution 4 subspecies:


Least concern According to the classification IUCN.

• Population trend: Decrease

This species has a very large range, and therefore not approaching the threshold of vulnerability. While the trend of the population seems to be decreasing, the descent is not believed to be sufficiently fast for approaching the threshold of vulnerable bird according to the criterion of population trend.

In some parts of its area of distribution, the forest habitat in which occur the hollow trees is being invaded by the rainforest.

"Palm Cockatoo" in captivity:

Rare bird cage, Although they have a great demand for the market of pet due to its unusual appearance.
They can live more than 55 years of age in captivity.

They may develop compulsive behaviors, as the pecking of feathers. They can also mimic sounds and human language.

For its captive breeding has in mind the aggression within pairs, Sometimes the male usually kill the female. To do this, There are more different management methods, join both cockatoos only in breeding season and quickly removed the male, cut the male that the female escape flying, or create complex installations that are carried out next to a cutout of the male, to make the female always escape before an attack route.

There are currently laws prohibiting export of any Palm Cockatoo without a permit.

Alternative names:

Palm Cockatoo, Black Macaw, Goliath Aratoo, Goliath Cockatoo, Great Black Cockatoo, Great Palm Cockatoo (English).
Cacatoès noir, Microglosse noir (French).
Arakakadu (German).
Cacatua-das-palmeiras (Portuguese).
Cacatúa de las Palmas, Cacatúa Enlutada (Spanish).

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cockatoo
Genus: Palm
Scientific name: Probosciger aterrimus
Citation: (Gmelin, JF, 1788)
Protonimo: Psittacus aterrimus

Images Palm Cockatoo:


Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)

– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
– Birdlife

– Photos: avianzoo,, avianzoo,

– Sound: Frank Lambert

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