Education > Cockatoo Parrots > Black Palm Cockatoo

Black Palm Cockatoo


Scientific Name: Probosciger aterrimus


Origin: Australasian region (add map: New Guinea, Northern Australia, Aru Islands, West Irian, and Wester Papuan Islands)


Habitat: The Palm Cockatoo’s natural habitat is typically tropical, in rainforests with large trees. During the day they settle near food and water, and at night they rest in or close to trees.


Physical Description: The adult Palm Cockatoo stands up to 60cm tall and has a prominent crest that raises 15cm above its head. It is the largest of all parrots. Characterized by its large bill and red face, as well as the lack of color on its tail, it is almost fully black and has a beak that only closes partially, exposing its black tipped red tongue.

The male Palm Cockatoo has a larger beak than the female, and both are able to crack and eat nuts using their beak, which stays partially opened at all times.

Its red cheeks change color depending on mood and health.


Behavior: The Palm Cockatoo has a bold character and does not shy away from human interaction, such as taking food from a human.

The male performs a territorial display where sticks are used to knock against trees, creating a drumming sound that can be heard up to 100m away.


Vocalization: The Palm Cockatoo is one of the loudest of its species, whistling, grunting, screeching, and sometimes even stomping noisily to get attention. Sound made by the Palm Cockatoo are similar to other wild parrots, but also include additional syllables.


Breeding: They breed inside tree hollows, which have been hollowed out naturally by termites, fires, and cyclones.

Mating season is typically between August and January, but may vary according to climate.

The Palm Cockatoo lays only 1 egg every other year, which is then incubated for 30 to 33 days. The newborn Palm Cockatoo fledges after approximately 100 days, which is the longest fledging period among parrots. The young parrot still relies on the parents until around 6 weeks after fledging. 


Food Habits: Palm Cockatoos are primarily herbivores, eating fruits and grains mostly. They might also feed off of insects and larvae. They typically eat in the morning, foraging on the forest floor and in the tree canopies.