The palm cockatoo, also known as the goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, is a large smoky-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family native to New Guinea, Aru Islands, and Cape York Peninsula. It has a very large black beak and prominent red cheek patches.
The largest cockatoo that is simply stunning to watch, the black palm cockatoo (or palm cockatoo) is not considered an affectionate bird. It’s very sociable, like other cockatoos, needing regular interaction with its owners. However, the size and temperament of this bird make it most suitable for experienced bird owners.
While not an ideal pet for everyone, the black palm cockatoo has its rewarding characteristics. It is strikingly beautiful, and hand fed black palm cockatoos can make excellent, tame pets. They do require firm training and are not for those who are new to keeping large parrots. These are bold parrots who need bold owners.
Sounds and Appearance of the Black Palm Cockatoo
The Black Palm Cockatoo is completely black or smoky gray with the exception of a bare, red patch on its cheeks. This patch gets brighter or darker if the bird is excited or feels threatened. Only the Hyacinth Macaw has a larger beak, and the Black Palm’s is extremely strong, allowing it to feed on hard pandanus nuts in its native setting.
In the wild, this cockatoo has many different calls of a higher-pitched variety than Sulphur-crested cockatoos. Calls range from wavering whistles to loud screams. They can learn to mimic human voices and are considered one of the best talking cockatoos. Black Palms are very loud, making them unsuitable for many home situations. Below is a video of a group of Black Palm Cockatoos living in the wild:
How Do Black Palm Cockatoos Act?
These birds are fairly high-energy and need plenty of exercise as they are prone to becoming overweight in captivity. Expect to spend several hours a day with your bird as they demand a lot of attention if you wish them to become tame and socialized. They are intelligent and can be good companions but are not generally an affectionate bird. They can get along with other cockatoos in an aviary, but their strong beaks make them a potential danger around small children.
Black Palm Cockatoos exhibit the very rare animal behavior of using tools. The male cockatoo takes a stick and uses it as a drumstick on a tree before making its nest there. Researchers are not certain why the birds do this. It may be to mark its territory. Another theory is that the female can discern if the tree is suitable for nesting by listening to the drumming sound. Below is an video of an example of this type of drumming displayed by a Black Palm cockatoo listening to music.