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Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

About Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

Large parrot with big powerful bill, short, rounded wings and tail, short legs and strong feet. Almost entirely pure-white plumage, apart from very large, erectile, sulfur-yellow crest; tinge of yellow on cheek, and yellow wash on underwings and underside of tail; bill blackish; legs dark gray; eye very dark brown with white bluish or blue and indigo ring around it.

This bird breeds in Australia from August through January in the south and May through September in the north. In New Guinea, it breeds in all months except April. The nests are in tree hollows up to 100 feet (30.5m) above the ground, lined with woodchips, more rarely in holes in cliffs. The female lays 2-3 white eggs. They eggs are taken care of by both the male and female. Both parents feed the chicks. The only difference between the female and male is that the male has the darker eye.

These birds are conspicuous as flocks gather at their roosts at sunset or leave them at dawn with ear-splitting screeches and squawks. In the morning they drink and fly to feeding areas. These birds are often regarded as pests by farmers as they like to eat ripening grain and grain fed to livestock.

The Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo is an extremely popular cagebird. Overseas trade in wild caught birds is illegal in Australia, and their populations there are stable. Many are still trapped in New Guinea, where they are also affected by clearance of their forest habitat.