Baby Black Palm Cockatoo Available! We are incredibly excited to announce that we successfully hatched our own Black Palm Cockatoo at our breeding program in Florida!

This is a great achievement and we couldn’t have done it without the help of some amazing people.

Black Palm Cockatoos are incredibly gorgeous animals but can also make wonderful companions. They are sweet, loving and playful.

They tend to have a very docile demeanor and do well with more than one person. Palms require a varied diet, a large enclosure and plenty of toys.

At Parrot Stars we focus on education, nutrition, and conservation. We work very hard to help educate our customers on parrot companionship.

Prior to taking a bird home, we will provide information on proper housing, creating a safe environment, diet, behavior, hormones and much more.

No question will go unanswered. Every hand fed baby is weaned on to a high variety diet.

They are weaned onto fruits and veggies, a soak and sprout mix we make here in store, high variety seed that we also make here in store, and naturally colored pellet.

If you have questions regarding this baby, or any others that we have available, please give us a call!


The palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), also known as the goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, is a large smoky-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family native to New Guinea,

Aru Islands, and Cape York Peninsula. It has a very large black beak and prominent red cheek patches.

Its specific name, Probosciger aterrimus, is from Latin proboscis, long thin nose + -ger, carry, and Latin superlative adjective for ater, black, hence a “black [bird] with a long thin nose (beak)”.

It is also sometimes given the misnomer “black macaw” in aviculture – the macaws are unrelated New World parrots.

The only member of the monotypic genus, Probosciger, the palm cockatoo is a member of the white cockatoo subfamily Cacatuinae.

Earlier limited genetic studies found it to be the earliest offshoot from the ancestors of what have become the cockatoo family.

It may be the largest cockatoo species and largest parrot in Australia, although large races of yellow-tailed black cockatoos and sulphur-crested cockatoos broadly overlap in size.


The palm cockatoo is 22 to 24 inches in length and weighs 910–1,200 g (2.01–2.65 lb).

It is a distinctive bird with a large crest and has one of the largest bills of any parrot (only the hyacinth macaw’s is larger).

The lower and upper mandibles do not meet for much of its length, allowing the tongue to hold a nut against the top mandible while the lower mandible works to open it.

This powerful bill enables palm cockatoos not only to eat very hard nuts and seeds, but also enables males to break off thick (about 1 in) sticks from live trees to use for a drumming display.

The male has a larger beak than the female.  The palm cockatoo also has a distinctive red cheek patch that changes colour when the bird is alarmed or excited.

Anecdotal evidence indicates a palm cockatoo reaching 80 or 90 years of age in an Australian zoo, although the oldest confirmed individual was aged 56 in London Zoo in 2000.

Although longevity of captive birds is known, the lifespan of palm cockatoos that live in the wild is still unknown .

The palm cockatoo is an unusual bird, being an ancient species and one of the few bird species known to use tools.

It has a unique territorial display where the bird (typically the male) drums with a large stick or seed pod against a dead bough or tree, creating a loud noise that can be heard up to 100 m away.

Although this drumming behavior was discovered over two decades ago, the reason why palm cockatoos drum is still a mystery.

One reason could be that females can assess the durability of the nesting hollow by the resonance of the drumming.

Another possibility could be that males drum to mark their territory against other males.


The palm cockatoo has a large and complex vocal repertoire, including many whistles and even a “hello” call that sounds surprisingly human-like

The vocalizations of palm cockatoos are similar to those of most wild parrots, but they have also been shown to produce a variety of additional syllables in display and exchange with neighboring individuals.

These additional syllables are mainly produced by males and are often combined to form long, complex sequences.

In a population in the Iron Range, 30 different syllables were distinguished. Distinct dialects occur throughout the species’ range.

Palm cockatoos only lay one egg every second year and have one of the lowest breeding success rates reported for any species of parrot. Offsetting this is their very long lifespan.

A male commenced breeding at 29 in Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and a female at the London Zoo was 40 when she laid her first egg in 1966.

Breeding takes place inside tree hollows that look like standing pipes. As with other large birds, both parents care for young.

The palm cockatoo often feeds during the early hours of the day on a diet that consists mostly of wild growing pandanus palm fruit and nuts from the kanari tree.

This species normally does not appear in large numbers. They are not known to flock feed like many of the cockatoo species. Usually only one to six individuals are observed feeding together at one time.

If these birds do congregate, it will usually happen in open woodland just after sunrise or along the rainforest edge before returning to individual roosts for the night.

The palm cockatoo is still relatively common in Cape York, but is threatened there by habitat destruction, particularly due to bauxite mining around Weipa and altered fire regimens elsewhere.

Palm cockatoos are hunted in New Guinea. The palm cockatoo is currently evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

It is listed on Appendix I of CITES. In Australia, palm cockatoos were relisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable on 31 October 2015.

The largest cockatoo, the black palm cockatoo or goliath cockatoo, is strikingly beautiful. This species is not naturally affectionate.

However, with extensive training, hand-fed black palm cockatoos can make excellent, tame pets. This species thrives when it is socialized. Like other cockatoos,

it craves regular interaction with its owners. This bird’s large size, beak strength, and uneven temperament make it most suitable for experienced bird owners.

These bold parrots require a fearless owner to match.

Species Overview

Common Names: Black palm cockatoo, palm cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, great black cockatoo, Van Oort’s palm cockatoo, black macaw

Scientific Name: Probosciger aterrimus

Adult Size: 22 and 24 inches, weighing between 2 and 3 pounds

Life Expectancy: Between 40 and 60 years in the wild; up to 80 to 90 years in captivity with proper care

Origin and History

The black palm cockatoo is native to Australia, particularly the very tip of northern Queensland. Also, this species now lives in New Guinea and Indonesia.

These birds generally inhabit the rainforest and woodlands and nest in hollow trees. It is common to find them in small groups of six or fewer birds. A pair will mate for life.

Though their population is declining due to habitat loss as well as sport and trade hunting, they are not considered endangered or even vulnerable.


The black palm cockatoo can be a good pet, but don’t expect it to be as affectionate as many other parrots. To tame this species, the bird requires a lot of attention and consistent training.

It is a brilliant and social bird, so if you are persistent, you can get this bird to follow your commands. You can teach this species to perform many simple tricks with time and positive reinforcement.

This is one of the very few bird species that will use tools. In their natural habitat, male birds will use a large stick to “drum” against a hollow tree before choosing where to build a nest.

This drumming can be heard for up to 100 yards. When the stick breaks, it becomes part of the new nest.

This behavior puzzles many scientists who study birds. Some scientists believe the females listen to the drumming, then decide if it’s a suitable nesting spot.

Other scientists believe it is the sign of a male marking its territory.

Speech and Vocalizations

This bird’s natural vocalizations have a human-like sound, including their signature “hello.” Their vocal ability is well suited for learning words. They are one of the best talking cockatoos.

A black palm cockatoo is not a good option for bird owners who live in apartments or condominiums.

It makes very distinct, deafening calls, and you (and your neighbors) need to be able to tolerate loud noises to live with one.

Black Palm Cockatoo Colors and Markings

The black palm cockatoo is a very dark, smoky gray color that appears blacker on some birds than others. The same color appears on their very long crest, as well as their feet and legs.

This otherwise single-colored bird has bright red patches of bare skin on their cheeks, which change colors when the bird gets excited.

Their cheeks are as striking as its dark grayish-black beak, giving it a very distinct profile up close.

The size of its beak makes it look intimidating. Within the parrot family, their beak is only eclipsed in size by the hyacinth macaw.

The size and shape of the beak, and the fact that the upper and lower mandibles don’t meet, makes it perfect for cracking open nuts. Their strong beaks can cause injury.

This species is not recommended for families with children.

This bird is a monomorphic species, meaning there is no visual way to tell males from females. If you want to determine sex, genetic or surgical sexing is necessary.

Caring for Black Palm Cockatoos

Though there is some appeal to these birds in the exotic pet trade, they are not as common as other cockatoos.

Generally, they are seen most often in zoos, professional aviaries, and bird shows. This exclusivity is mostly due to their temperament and extensive care and training requirements.

Black palm cockatoos should not be left alone for more than eight hours a day. This species is not the right choice if you maintain regular obligations outside of the home for long periods.

The black palm cockatoo  requires a large enough cage to accommodate flight and play. The cage should be at least 10 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 6 feet high.

If you cannot accommodate a cage this size or an aviary, it is best to consider one of the smaller cockatoo species.

These powder-down parrots enjoy baths and should regularly get the opportunity to get wet. The natural dust shed by this bird can coat the nearby surfaces and trigger allergies for those sensitive to dust or animal dander

This bird’s long lifespan serves the breed well because it usually lays one egg every two years or so. Among the parrots, it has one of the lowest reproduction rates.

Common Health Problems

Though it is a large bird, it is light for its size and prone to obesity in captivity. Other common ailments that can affect these birds include kidney problems,

bacterial infections, and psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), a viral condition.

If the bird does not receive sufficient mental stimulation, it can develop behavioral issues such as feather plucking or excessive screaming.

Diet and Nutrition

In the wild, black palm cockatoos often feed in the early morning hours. Its native diet is palm fruit, nuts from the kanari tree (Java almond), stringy eucalyptus tree bark, and tree seeds.

Their strong beak can open the toughest nuts.

Like all cockatoos, black palm cockatoos can easily become overweight, so owners should carefully supervise their fat intake.

Half of its menu should consist of high-quality pellets, and the other half should be fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables.

Occasionally feed nuts in the shell; this will exercise their beak. Keep nuts to a minimum, though, as most are high in fat.

Start by offering your bird 1/3 cup of pellets and 1/3 cup of fruits and vegetables daily. Increase the amount as needed. Never feed chocolate or avocado; these foods are toxic to birds.


Being large birds, they need lots of exercise to maintain their physical health.

Make sure that your bird is allowed a minimum of three to four hours outside of its cage each day so it can stretch its muscles, play, and socialize with you.

These birds require regularly scheduled time for training.

These birds are curious. Make sure you supervise them when outside of the cage to prevent accidents and unwanted chewing on your household goods, furniture, or walls.

Be mindful of electric wires around the house; these are potentially hazardous if your bird chews on them.

Toys provide enrichment and will keep the bird occupied. Provide plenty of stimulation with wood toys, ropes, and other things the bird can chew on.

Always have more toys readily available when they get destroyed. Rotate toys in and out as the bird loses interest.

Playstands, perches, ladders, and swings can also help your bird burn off excess energy.

  • Beautiful, impressive-looking bird with unique drumming ability
  • One of the best speaking cockatoos
  • Can learn to do many tricks
  • Long-lived species
  • Can be noisy, not well-suited for apartments
  • Requires at least 3 to 4 hours of supervised out-of-cage time
  • Emits powdery down that can aggravate allergies
  • Requires a room-sized cage or aviary


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