Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is the largest and noisiest of white cockatoos, with a strong blackish bill, up swept yellow crest and cheek mark, and washed yellow underwing and undertail feathers.

It is seen feeding on seeds, mostly on the ground or in hoop pine trees. Bulbous roots, berries, nuts and leaf buds, and oats and maize crops supplement their diet. They are commonly found in large flocks, not in breeding season, each flock having its own roosting site which they leave soon after sunrise for their feeding grounds. They feed until mid-morning, rest in nearby trees during the hottest part of the day, then resume feeding late afternoon before returning noisily to their roosting site.

They also eat insects and their larvae, and seeds of many weeds. In southern regions in open country they have well-established "sentinel warning systems" within the flock.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos breed from August to July in South Australia. The nests are decayed debris in tree hollows usually high, or in a hole in a cliff. There are 2 to 3 eggs.

They are renown for their raucous, shattering screeches, sharp squawks and whistles! (Contributed by Jo G.)