1. Cacatua l. leadbeateri (Vigors 1831)
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
Description: The majormitchell cockatoo is generally white; crown feathers with pink
base; narrow, red crest with central band of yellow and white tips; forehead,
sides of head, breast and abdomen salmon-pink, becoming white on lower abdomen;
skin to periophthalmic ring whitish; iris dark brown; feet grey; bill horn-coloured.
The female cockatoo looks similar to the male, but
she has white on her abdomen and with broader yellow band to crest; iris red.
Immature leadbeater cockatoos slightly duller plumage; iris in both sexes brown.
Length: 35 cm (13.5 ins)
Distribution: Majormitchell cockatoos can be
found in arid and semi-arid areas in interior of
Australia except for northeast.
2. Cacatua l. mollis
Mathew's Pink Cockatoo
Description: as cacatua leadbeateri, but with darker red to
crest; yellow band completely absent or very faint.
Female cockatoo with same differences as cacatua
leadbeateri, but also
without or very little yellow to crest.
Length: 35 cm (13.5ins)
Distribution: This cockatoo is only known from Warburton Mission and Carnamah District, Western Australia.
Habitat: The majormitchell cockatoo can be
found in areas with trees in the arid and semi-arid
zones; prefers eucalyptus and casuarina trees; also other open country including
grassland with little tree cover; Also this cockatoo can be found regularly in grain drying paddocks
and along water courses.
Status: The leadbeater cockatoo is uncommon to rare; in some localities displaced
by Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus).
Habits: The majormitchell cockatoo can be usually
found in pairs or small groups, only
exceptionally in large flocks of up to 600 cockatoos; often found with Galahs;
spends greater part of day feeding on ground or in bushes and trees; usually not
approachable; at dawn these cockatoos fly from roosting trees to drink, then forage,
resting in tall trees during the hot midday period, just before sunset they seek
water again, then return to roosting site; This cockatoo is partly nomadic;
their direction is determined
by availablity of water; flight moderately swift with flapping wing-beats;
Majormitchell cockatoos seldom fly high or long distances; crest raised on landing; flight accompanied
by continuous screeching; call quavering and disyllabic.
Natural diet: This cockatoo feeds on grass seeds, vegetable matter, fruits,
berries, nuts, roots, insects and their larvae; seed of paddy melon preferred.
Breeding behaviour: varying breeding season, from May
in northern Australia, between August and December in south; nest holes in
stumps of large branches or dead trees; These cockatoos prefer eucalyptus trees along water courses; nest entrance between 3m (10ft) and 9m (30ft) from ground;
a cockatoo pair work
nest hole together; bottom lined with small pieces of wood and bark; clutch from
2 to 4 eggs; incubation 26 days; both brood; fledging period 8 weeks; young
majormitchell cockatoos form
family group with parents; egg measures 39.1 x 29.5 mm (1.54 x 1.16 ins).
Aviculture: The majormitchell cockatoo is occasionally loud; very hardy when
acclimatised; strong chewers; provide constant supply of fresh branches with
leaves; mostly incompatible with other cockatoo species; remains reserved to
shy; regular worming required as these cockatoos are found very often on the ground.
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