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Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo

 (Cacatua leadbeateri)

Also known as: Pink Cockatoo, Leadbeater's Cockatoo, Desert Cockatoo, Wee Juggler, Cocklerina, Chockalott

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Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in the wild
© Shutterstock

Did You Know?

The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo is the only cockatoo with a multicoloured crest.

Academic Research

Related publications: Cacatua leadbeateri

Species Profile

Genus: Cacatua | Species: leadbeateri

Size:

35cm (13.6 in)

Weight:

340-425g (12-14.9 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: C.l. leadbeateri, C.l. mollis

Colourization Adult:

C.l. leadbeateri: Male-white cockatoo with pink face, nape, chest and belly; brilliant red and yellow streaks in white crest. Dark pink forehead. Eye dark brown. Female-paler pink, wider band of yellow in crest, upper abdomen white instead of pink, eye reddish pink.     
C.l. mollis: Both adults as in leadbeateri, but crest darker red with little or no yellow.  Bill both races white.

Colourization Juvenile:

Immatures similar to adult female with paler head and underparts.

Call:

High note, quavering. Harsh alarm call. Fledglings wheeze when calling for food.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1

More Information:

AvianWeb

Content Sources:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
BirdLife International
CITES
Internet Bird Collection
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1989. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.
Avian Pediatric Seminar Proceedings, various authors, 1988.

Click photo to visit gallery

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in the wild
© Shutterstock

Did You Know?

The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo is the only cockatoo with a multicoloured crest.

Academic Research

Related publications: Cacatua leadbeateri

Species Care

Captive Status:

Common in Australia, less so elsewhere.

Longevity:

May live from 40-60yrs.

Housing:

Walk-in cage, minimum length 4.5m (14.7 ft).

Diet:

Mix of small seeds: canary, oats, safflower, limited sunflower, spray millet. Sprouted sunflower, beans and lentils; green leaves such as: spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, sowthistle, dandelion, chickweed; fresh vegetables such as: corn, carrot, celery, zucchini, green beans and peas, fruit if taken; nuts such as: walnuts, hazenuts, pecans and roasted peanuts. Complete kibble.

Enrichment:

Avid chewers so provide bird safe, unsprayed wood (fir, pine, elder, willow), wood toys, vegetable tanned leather toys, heat sterilized pine cones. Also provide overhead misters or shallow water bowls for bathing.

Nest Box Size:

Hollow log or vertical box with trap door.

Clutch Size:

2 to 4

Incubation Time:

25 days

Fledging Age:

8 weeks

Hatch Weight:

12g (0.4 oz)

Peak Weight:

399-403g (14-14.1 oz)

Weaning Weight:

311-319g (10.9-11.2 oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in the wild
© Shutterstock

Did You Know?

The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo is the only cockatoo with a multicoloured crest.

Academic Research

Related publications: Cacatua leadbeateri

Species Wild Status

World Population:

About 50,000

IUCN Red List Status:

Least concern (Red list 2006), listed as vulnerable with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Threatened Species Conservation Act (2005).

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Loss of habitat and because it is an ecological specialist it has faced downturns in its population with poor recovery potential; also trapping for wild bird trade.

Range:

C.l. leadbeateri: Interior of SE Australia from SW Queensland and W New South Wales to NW Victoria and CE South Australia.
C.l. mollis: Inland W and C Australia east to Eyre Peninsula and Lake Eyre basin, S Australia.

Habitat:

Mainly found in arid interior of Australia, favouring Eucalyptus woodland around rivers and ponds, also mulga, mallee, cypress and Acacia woodland, as well as farmland. Up to 300m (984 ft).

Wild Diet:

Grass seed, paddy melon seed, figs, pine cones, Eucalyptus seeds and bulbs, bitter wild melon seeds, nuts, roots, insect larvae.

Ecology and Behaviour:

May be found in the company of Galahs (Rose-breasted cockatoos) and Corellas; found in pairs or groups up to 50; will feed both on the ground and in trees.

Clutch and Egg Size:

2 to 4, ovate eggs, 40.0 x 29.5mm (1.5 x 1.2 in).

Breeding Season:

August to December.

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, Australia

Click photo to visit gallery

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in the wild
© Shutterstock

Did You Know?

The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo is the only cockatoo with a multicoloured crest.

Academic Research

Related publications: Cacatua leadbeateri

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