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Black Palm Cockatoo

The largest cockatoo, the black palm cockatoo or goliath cockatoo, is strikingly beautiful. This species is not naturally affectionate. However, with extensive training, hand-fed black palm cockatoos can make excellent, tame pets. This species thrives when it is socialized. Like other cockatoos, it craves regular interaction with its owners. This bird's large size, beak strength, and uneven temperament make it most suitable for experienced bird owners. These bold parrots require a fearless owner to match.

Like other cockatoos, they too can be loud and noisy, if they don’t get a lot of attention. They also have a much more complex vocal ability, and they can learn and repeat several common words. But mostly, they express themselves with loud and clear vocal tones – calmer if they are happy, or louder if they are angry. With their enormous size and possible levels of noise, cockatoos are best kept in a house setting.

Fast Facts

Name Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Black Palm Cockatoo, Goliath Cockatoo
Origin New Guinea and Queensland, Australia
Size 22-24 in., 900-1,000 grams
Color Differences The Palm Cockatoo is primarily black and dark gray with a red cheek patch that changes color when he is excited or alarmed. The Palm Cockatoo also has a very large crest and one of the largest bills of all parrots.
Lifespan 40-90 years
Noise Very loud–Most Cockatoos scream if they are not getting the attention they want.
Living Arrangements Because they can be very loud, they are best suited for living in a house.
Qualities Beautiful, loving, affectionate, rare in the wild, love to be handled, cuddly, needy, noisy, destructive, requires a lot of time and attention, prone to behavior problems.
Abilities Good–Cockatoos can learn to talk, but most only learn a few words or phrases. You can train them, but they would most likely prefer to just cuddle with you.
Interaction/Time Requirements Very high–They love their owners and want attention 24/7. You need to be prepared to spend at least 2 hours a day with a Cockatoo to give him the time and attention he needs.

These parrots are entirely black. The beak, the plumage, and the eyes as well. The only other color is the red patch of bare skin on their cheeks, similar to the macaws. While this coloration sounds simple, and it is, these cockatoos still look magnificent, if not a little intimidating with their huge and sharp beak and the iconic combination of red and black. In any case, they will not fail to captivate you and everyone who meets them.

Speech and Vocalizations

This bird's natural vocalizations have a human-like sound, including their signature "hello." Their vocal ability is well suited for learning words. They are one of the best talking cockatoos.

A black palm cockatoo is not a good option for bird owners who live in apartments or condominiums. It makes very distinct, deafening calls, and you (and your neighbors) need to be able to tolerate loud noises to live with one.

Black Palm Cockatoo Colors and Markings

The black palm cockatoo is a very dark, smoky gray color that appears blacker on some birds than others. The same color appears on their very long crest, as well as their feet and legs.

This otherwise single-colored bird has bright red patches of bare skin on their cheeks, which change colors when the bird gets excited. Their cheeks are as striking as its dark grayish-black beak, giving it a very distinct profile up close.

The size of its beak makes it look intimidating. Within the parrot family, their beak is only eclipsed in size by the hyacinth macaw. The size and shape of the beak, and the fact that the upper and lower mandibles don't meet, makes it perfect for cracking open nuts. Their strong beaks can cause injury. This species is not recommended for families with children.

This bird is a monomorphic species, meaning there is no visual way to tell males from females. If you want to determine sex, genetic or surgical sexing is necessary.

Caring for Black Palm Cockatoos

Though there is some appeal to these birds in the exotic pet trade, they are not as common as other cockatoos. Generally, they are seen most often in zoos, professional aviaries, and bird shows. This exclusivity is mostly due to their temperament and extensive care and training requirements.

Black palm cockatoos should not be left alone for more than eight hours a day. This species is not the right choice if you maintain regular obligations outside of the home for long periods.

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