Palm cockatoo

Probosciger aterrimus

4K6A4783 copy scaled
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae

You can find our pair of stunning palm cockatoos in the aviary next to the Bird Hide.

Palm cockatoos are found in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. They live in forests and woodlands, and have a diet consisting of fruit and nuts.

Palm cockatoos, which are also known as goliath cockatoos or great black cockatoos, are large with either smoky grey or black feathers. They have very large beaks and bright red cheek patches.

Interesting facts!

  • Palm cockatoos are keen drummers! Male birds will use large sticks or seed pods to drum against dead boughs and trees to create a noise that can be heard up to 100 metres away. They are one of the few bird species known to use tools.
  • They are one of the largest species of cockatoo in the world, and have one of the biggest beaks of any type of parrot.
  •  Palm cockatoos get their name from the pandanus palm tree, which they mostly feed on in the wild.


While palm cockatoos are fairly resilient to habitat degradation, they are at risk from habitat loss due to threats such as mining and wildfires. Because of their striking appearance, palm cockatoos are also in high demand as pets. In addition, they breed slowly, with just one egg laid every two year. As a result of these factors, palm cockatoos are rated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.