Microglosse - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Palm cockatoo

Probosciger aterrimus

IUCN status
Least concern
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Microglosse - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

« This crested parrot is able to raise the feathers on its head »

Palm cockatoo or great black cockatoo

A territorial bird with a unique display.

The palm cockatoo is part of the Psittacidae family and is also called the “great black cockatoo” because of its charcoal-coloured plumage. In contrast, this bird’s featherless cheeks are bright red and can change colour depending on the bird’s mood, stress levels, or health. Its black beak is hooked and relatively short which allows it to crack seeds and nuts, which it is very fond of. This crested parrot is able to raise the feathers on its head and often does so in the morning, during territorial displays. This morning routine consists of vocalisations and striking hollow trunks with a nut, a stone, or a stick, with wings outstretched!

Microglosse - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

Did you know?

New leak for one of our palm cockatoo

A two-in-one video

In this new “Un Œil en Coulisse”, head to the great black cockatoo aviary to experience 2 special events: an enrichment offered to cockatoos and the installation of a new prosthesis on the beak of one of the females!

Studying palm cockatoo subspecies

For many years now, the Beauval Nature Association has been conducting a research project, in collaboration with the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, to determine the exact numbers of different palm cockatoo subspecies held in Europe.

Microglosse - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
Microglosse - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc
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Least concern

Learn more about the species

Oceania, Asia
  • Diet
    Frugivore, Granivore
  • Incubation
    30 to 35 days
  • Clutch size
    1 egg
  • Habitat
    Wooded savannahs, Tropical forests
Australasia’s largest parrot
The palm cockatoo is one of the largest parrots, it can measure up to 60 cm in height. It lives in the tropical forests and wooded savannahs of Australia, New Guinea, and the surrounding islands. It spends a lot of time in the canopy, at the tops of the trees, and will travel long distances in search of food. It feeds on seeds, fruits, insects, and plants.
A sociable animal
The palm cockatoo is a sociable animal and lives in pairs or in groups of several dozen individuals. While the group is feeding, a “sentinel” is responsible for keeping watch and alerting the group with a shrill, harsh shriek if a predator approaches or if any other threat arises. Palm cockatoos use a whole range of sounds (shrieks, drumming, grunts etc.) to communicate.
Reproduction and nesting
Palm cockatoos are monogamous and stay with their partner for life. They reproduce only once a year and lay only one egg per clutch. Incubation lasts about 1 month, and the chicks will fly for the first time when they are about a hundred days old. Cockatoos cannot excavate their own nests, so they use pre-existing cavities, often in palm trees, which they reuse year after year.

Where can I see them in the park?

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