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Australian threatened species: Ringo Starr (Palm) Cockatoo

Australian threatened species: Ringo Starr (Palm) Cockatoo

The Palm Cockatoo is a flamboyant smoky grey parrot with bright red cheeks and dramatic crest feathers.  Dubbed the ‘Ringo Starr’ of the bird world due to its drumming abilities - crafting its own musical instrument out of bark.

“They have a very good sense of rhythm and different styles of drumming signatures” says Professor Robert Heinsohn from ANU who has been studying the birds since the 90s.  He says the cockatoo is the only bird in the world that uses a tool musically, bashing out a rhythm against a tree hollow in order to attract a partner.

The Palm Cockatoo is now in need of protection due to habitat loss and low reproductive rates.  Found in Cape York in far North Queensland - an estimated 2000 - 3000 remain.  Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinction in the world which is why we choose to support the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and their efforts in protecting threatened species.  

Image of 'Seisa' the Ringo Starr Cockatoo by photographer Leila Jeffreys.

Palm Cockatoo