Distribution: Central Australia
Habitat: Shrublands and woodlands
Description: The Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo is pale pink with dark pink on the underside of its wings and tail. Its lower belly and upper sides of its wings and tail are white. This cockatoo has a large, distinctive crest banded with dark pink, yellow and white. Male Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos have dark brown eyes, while females have pink or red eyes.
Diet: Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos are omnivores. They feed on insects and over 30 species of plants including wattles, hakeas, grevilleas and pines.
In the wild: The behaviour of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos changes depending on the season. In summer, when there is lots of food, they only forage for a few hours in the morning. During winter they spend more than half the day searching for food.
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos mate for life and work together to raise their chicks and defend their territory. They lay their eggs in tree hollows and return to the same area to nest each year.
Threats: Habitat destruction, loss of tree hollows and poaching for the illegal bird trade threaten the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo.
At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo has a number of cockatoo species on display in the Western Australian Native Cockatoo Species Exhibit, which is part of the Australian Bushwalk. The garden around the exhibit has been planted with cockatoo food trees to show the types of plants they eat.