Palm cockatoo



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Palm cockatoo

The Palm cockatoo (also called Goliath cockatoo) is the famous big black cockatoo with the red facial marks. It is the most well-known species of all the black cockatoos. All it’s feathers are black and a patch of bare skin between eyes and bill is bright red. The scientific name for this species is Probosciger aterrimus

To buy, transport or keep this species you will need CITES papers.

A Palm Cockatoo
Common name
Palm Cockatoo (Goliath cockatoo)
Scientific name
Probosciger aterrimus
Color of feathers
Color of crest
Body size
55 cm
Sex differences
No apparent differences, DNA test needed
Easily made tame
Cage or aviary
Usual cost
Very expensive


The natural habitat of the Palm Cockatoo is Northen Australia. It lives in small groups in the tropical forests. In nature it is still pretty abundant, even though this cockatoo is the species with the slowest reproduction of all parrots. Once every two years it produces one egg.

Palm cockatoo as a pet

It is possible to keep a Palm Cockatoo as a pet, but it is not common. This species needs a lot of space and social contact with other cockatoos, and therefore is much better suited for a zoo, bird park of bird show. It does not become as tame or affectionate as other species of cockatoo.

an eye on you... i gotta keep movin' on♫ bali bird park | Flickr

Species Profile

Genus: Probosciger | Species: aterrimus


51-64cm (20 in)


910-1200g (31.8-42 oz)

Races including nominate:

four: P.a. aterrimus, P.a. goliath, P.a. stenolophus, P.a. macgillivrayi

Colour Adult:

P.a. aterrimus: Both adults in general black with powder from down giving a grey appearance; crimson bare cheek-patches and gape; thighs bare and blue/grey. Large black bill, smaller in female. Tongue red tipped with black. Eye ring grey, eye dark brown.
P.a. macgillivrayi: Both adults as in aterrimus but larger in size.
P.a. goliath: Both adults as in macgillivrayi but larger in size.
P.a. stenolophus: Both adults as in goliath but crest feathers much narrower.


Colour Juvenile:

As in adults but with pale yellow edging to feathers of underparts; shorter crest. Smaller bill tipped with white. Eye ring white.