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. 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
Origin and History
The black palm cockatoo is native to Australia, particularly the very tip of northern Queensland. Also, this species now lives in New Guinea and Indonesia. These birds generally inhabit the rainforest and woodlands and nest in hollow trees. It is common to find them in small groups of six or fewer birds. A pair will mate for life.
The black palm cockatoo can be a good pet, but don’t expect it to be as affectionate as many other parrots. To tame this species, the bird requires a lot of attention and consistent training. It is a brilliant and social bird, so if you are persistent, you can get this bird to follow your commands. You can teach this species to perform many simple tricks with time and positive reinforcement. This is one of the very few bird species that will use tools. In their natural habitat, male birds will use a large stick to “drum” against a hollow tree before choosing where to build a nest. When the stick breaks, it becomes part of the new nest. This behavior puzzles many scientists who study birds. Some scientists believe the females listen to the drumming, then decide if it’s a suitable nesting spot. Other scientists believe it is the sign of a male marking its territory
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.
The black palm cockatoo requires a large enough cage to accommodate flight and play. The cage should be at least 10 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 6 feet high. If you cannot accommodate a cage this size or an aviary, it is best to consider one of the smaller cockatoo species.
These powder-down parrots enjoy baths and should regularly get the opportunity to get wet. The natural dust shed by this bird can coat the nearby surfaces and trigger allergies for those sensitive to dust or animal dander.
This bird’s long lifespan serves the breed well because it usually lays one egg every two years or so. Among the parrots, it has one of the lowest reproduction rates.