Black palm cockatoo have a remarkably distinct look, with the beak and crest more pronounced. A beautiful red skin patch (typically bare) sits between this parrot’s eye and beak. This patch runs to the cheek. Interestingly, this tone of its red cheek varies according to the emotions the cockatoo is experiencing, especially when it is enthused or when it feels threatened. They are reasonably friendly.
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 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.
COMMON NAMES: Black palm cockatoo, palm cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, great black cockatoo, Van Oort’s palm cockatoo, black macaw
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Probosciger aterrimus
ADULT SIZE: 22 and 24 inches, weighing between 2 and 3 pounds
LIFE EXPECTANCY: Between 40 and 60 years in the wild; up to 80 to 90 years in captivity with proper care
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.
The palm cockatoos vocalize similarly to other wild parrots but they also produce a lot of other syllables when they are on display or in exchange with other individuals.
The male species are usually the ones that produce these other syllables. These syllables are usually combined to form complex sequences.
Sounds and Appearance
They are 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.
How Do I Care Black Palm Cockatoo?
These birds can tolerate variable temperatures but it should never get below freezing in their enclosure. They are best kept in a large cage size of 2.6 m W X 4m L X 2.6m H (8.5X13X8.5 feet). Bar spacing should be 1 inch (2.54 cm) and the cage needs to be sturdily constructed to stand up to the bird’s strong beak.
Nail clipping may be required as will beak trimming if you cannot supply native pandanus nuts. These powder down parrots enjoy baths and should regularly get the opportunity to get wet. Molting is a steady process where the bird loses one to two feathers at a time.
Feeding should be with a high-quality pelleted diet with at least half of its diet consisting of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Obtaining nuts from its natural environment can be very beneficial to your bird and help it keep its beak in good shape.
These large birds need physical exercise to avoid becoming overweight and will benefit from ladders, perches and play stands. Breeding is difficult as the birds only lay one egg every two years. This fact, combined with habitat loss in their native regions, is cause for concern about the wild population of birds.