White Cockatoo

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White Cockatoo /Cacatua alba/

Cockatoos (Cacatuidae) represent a family uniting 21 species of parrot-like birds, spread in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. These birds are classified as a separate family from parrots, although some zoologists believe that cockatoos are one of the parrot subfamilies, such as the neotropical or paleotropical parrots. There are theories that these birds are not even a separate subfamily, but represent part of the paleotropical parrot family, but most zoologists think that cockatoos represent a separate family from the parrots.

White cockatoos /Cacatua alba/ are found in Maluku province in Indonesia. They inhabit forested areas, mangroves, swamps, agricultural areas and are especially common along meadows and rivers. They spend most of their time in the crowns of trees. Tall secondary vegetation is assumed to be their preferred habitat. They are found at an altitude of 300 to 900 m.

The representatives of this type of parrots are quite large, their body length varies from 35 to 55 cm, and their weight can reach 700 grams. The tail is small, rounded. The plumage is white, on the crown of the head there is a crest formed by long feathers. The color of the crest varies among different types in the white cockatoos - it can be orange, yellow or pure white.

Usually the crest is curved on the back, if the parrot is excited, the feathers on its head bristle and take the shape of a fan. The beak and legs are dark grey. Both sexes have pale blue eyes, but males have a dark brown iris, while females have a reddish iris. Females usually have a smaller head and beak than males.

The courtship behavior of white cockatoos is very impressive. The male shows his body by spreading his tail feathers, wings and raising his crest. Partners form a close relationship with each other. They are monogamous and their relationship continues throughout their lives.

The breeding season is usually between December and March. The couples leave their group and find nesting sites in trees. They choose nest holes only in the largest trees and nest between 5 and 30 meters above the ground. They lay two eggs, sometimes three. The male and female share responsibility for the eggs until they hatch; the incubation usually lasts 30 days. The birdies learn to fly at the age of three months and reach sexual maturity at the age of six.

The white cockatoos are extremely curious birds. They may use tools, such as branches to scratch their backs. In the wild, the white cockatoo mainly eats papaya, durian, longsat, rambutan and corn. However, they have been observed eating crickets, too.