Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
"Danny" - my Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Danny - pencil sketch with watercolour - Maree©
The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is native to Australia.
The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua galerita, is a relatively large white cockatoo found in wooded habitats in Australia and New Guinea. They can be locally very numerous, leading to them sometimes being considered pests. They are very popular in aviculture.
It has a total lengh of 45–55 cm (18–22 in), with the Australian subspecies larger than subspecies from New Guinea and nearby islands. The plumage is overall white, while the underwing and -tail are tinged yellow. The expressive crest is yellow. The bill is black, the legs are grey, and the eye-ring is whitish (east Australia) or light blue (remaining part of range). Males typically have almost black eyes, whereas the females have a more red or brown eye, but this require optimum viewing conditions to be seen.
Their distinctive raucous call can be very loud; it is meant to travel through the forest environments in which they live, including tropical and subtropical rain forests. These birds are naturally curious, as well as very intelligent. They have adapted very well to European settlement in Australia and live in many urban areas.
These birds are very long-lived, and can live upwards of 70 years in captivity, although they only live to about 20–40 years in the wild. They have been known to engage in geophagy, the process of eating clay to detoxify their food. These birds produce a very fine powder to waterproof themselves instead of oil as many other creatures do.
A 2009 study involving an Eleonora Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita eleonora) named Snowball found that Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are capable of synchronizing movements to a musical beat.
In some parts of Australia, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo can be very numerous, and may cause damage to cereal and fruit crops. Consequently, they are sometimes shot or poisoned as pests. Government permit is required, as they are a protected species under the Australian Commonwealth Law.
They can also be destructive to timber structures such as house planking, garden furniture and trees.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos may no longer be imported into the United States as a result of the Wild Bird Conservation Act. However, they have been bred in captivity. The potential owner should be aware of the bird's needs, as well as how loud these birds can be and their natural desire to chew wood and other hard and organic materials.
My Cockatoo, Danny
Danny showing off his beauty!
FACT SHEET : "Cocky" Bennet was the oldest Cockatoo on record at 115 years.