Palm Cockatoo
Sounds & Calls

Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)

Female Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)

The Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), [sometimes referred to as the Goliath Cockatoo] is a very large species of cockatoo native to New Guinea, the Aru Islands of Indonesia, and Cape York Peninsula in Australia. It has a huge black beak and distinctive red cheek patches.

Apart from the loud squawks and screeches common to many cockatoo species, Palm Cockatoos make a variety of complex whistles and even some nasal ‘hello’ calls which are surprisingly human-like! Palm Cockatoos are also famous for their unique drumming displays, where a male bird uses a carefully chosen branch as a ‘drum stick’, by grasping it with his foot and tapping it on a tree hollow.

Conservation Status: Recent research suggests Palm Cockatoo populations are in steep decline.  Large scale habitat loss, changed fire regimes and low reproductive success are thought to be contributing factors threatening this species.