Palm Cockatoo (Australian)  |  

Probosciger aterrimus macgillivrayi

Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list

The palm cockatoo (Australian) is a large cockatoo with a massive, curved dark grey bill and a long erectile crest. Adults are entirely slate-black in colour except for a bright-red facial patch which flushes a deep scarlet when alarmed or excited. Juveniles are similar to adults in colouration; however they have pale yellow scallop-like markings on the under-body and underwing coverts, a paler grey bill and paler pink facial patch. Palm cockatoos (Australian) are similar to the red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii), which can be distinguished by the red or orange panels in their tail. The species can be seen singly, in pairs or in parties and are often found perching in emergent trees calling and displaying, sometimes upside down with wings and crest spread. Palm cockatoos (Australian) have a distinctive whistle comprising of two syllabi, the first a deep and mellow note and the second a drawn-out, shrill and high-pitched note. This whistle is just one of the many calls (over 27 documented so far) used by the palm cockatoo (Australian) which has a varied, extensive and complex vocal repertoire that appears to vary geographically.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Probosciger aterrimus macgillivrayi

    Inappropriate fire regimes are a significant threat to palm cockatoos (Murphy et al.; 2003). ).
    Nest hollows are thought to be a limiting resource at Iron Range; with changes in fire patterns being the main cause (Murphy et al.; 2003 Murphy Legge; 2007).