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Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Cedar Creek, Qld, Australia.  by Ralph de Zilva

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Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Cedar Creek, Qld, Australia. by 


Nikon D700 & Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G lens + Nikon 1.4X Teleconverter
Manfrotto 681B Pro Monopod

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, is a relatively large white cockatoo found in wooded habitats in Australia and New Guinea. They can be locally very numerous, leading to them sometimes being considered pests. They are well known in aviculture, although they can be demanding pets.
In Australia, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos can be found widely in the north and east, ranging as far south as Tasmania, but avoiding arid inland areas with few trees. They are numerous in suburban habitats in cities such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. Except for highland areas, they occur throughout most of New Guinea and on nearby smaller islands such as Waigeo, Misool and Aru, and various islands in the Cenderawasih Bay and Milne Bay.
Within Australia, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos of the nominate race have also been introduced to Perth, which is far outside the natural range. Outside Australia, they have been introduced to Singapore, where their numbers have been estimated to be between 500 and 2000. They have also been introduced to Palau and New Zealand. In New Zealand the introduced populations may number less than 1000. This species has also been recorded from various islands in Wallacea (e.g. Kai Islands and Ambon), but it is unclear if it has managed to become established there.
Their distinctive raucous call can be very loud; it is adapted to travel through the forest environments in which they live, including tropical and subtropical rainforests. These birds are naturally curious, as well as very intelligent. They have adapted very well to European settlement in Australia and live in many urban areas.
These birds are very long-lived, and can live upwards of 70 years in captivity, although they only live to about 20–40 years in the wild. They have been known to engage in geophagy, the process of eating clay to detoxify their food. These birds produce a very fine powder to waterproof themselves instead of oil as many other creatures do.
The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is a seasonal breeder in Australia, little is known about its breeding behaviour in New Guinea. In southern Australia the breeding season is from August to January, whereas in northern Australia the season is from May to September. The nest is a bed of wood chips in a hollow in a tree. Like many other parrots it competes with others of its species and with other species on nesting sites. Two to three eggs are laid and incubation lasts between 25–27 days. Both parents incubate the eggs and raise the nestlings. The nestling period is between 9 to 12 weeks, and the young fledgelings remain with their parents for a number of months after fledging.
Species that feed on the ground are very vulnerable to predator attack. The Cockatoo has evolved a behavioural adaptation to protect against this: whenever there is a flock on the ground, there is at least one high up in a tree (usually a dead tree), keeping guard. This is so well known that it has even entered Australian slang: a person keeping guard for sudden police raids on illegal gambling gatherings is referred to as a Cockatoo or Cocky for short.

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birds, wildlife, nature

I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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Comments

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 2 years ago

    Great pose! He looks to me as if he’s preparing to burst into song.

  • I was thrilled when I got the cocky in this pose. Appreciate your comment and fave Celeste.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Tracie Louise
    Tracie Louiseover 2 years ago

    Very cute.

  • Thank you Tracie.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • supergold
    supergoldover 2 years ago

    funny bird looking at you;
    excellent capture as always.

  • Thanks very much Fred for your comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Adam Le Good
    Adam Le Goodover 2 years ago

    Great shot Ralph. They are a photogenic bunch the cockys

  • Thanks very much Adam for your visit and comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thanks Audrey.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Rita Blom
    Rita Blomover 2 years ago

    Another Great Shot Ralph! Makes me wonder just how long you wait for these great photos. I think you must have a lot of patience. I love your blurbs, so much information. Congratulations! A fave for me.

  • I have got lots of patience Rita and when I do bird photography, I always go on my own and certainly take my time. Many thanks for such a wonderful comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • BlueMoonRose
    BlueMoonRoseover 2 years ago

    Have you made a typing error there, Ralph? Pets would be more appropriate than pests! These are beautiful birds!

  • I know they are beautiful birds and my favourite but they can be a pest to the farmers.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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