General Description

A cockatoo distinguished by its soft pink face and underparts and its large white crest, which when raised shows a bright reddish pink bar with an orange stripe through it. Its back, wings and tail are white. In flight its underwing and tail are also pink. Body size 35 to 40 cm.

Biology

The flight of a flock of Major Mitchell Cockatoos against a backdrop of red rocks and blue sky is one of the most stunning sights of inland Australia. They occur in pairs or small flocks and occasionally in many hundreds when food is abundant. They feed mostly on seeds on the ground or in the foliage of shrubs and trees but will also gouge insect larvae (grubs) out of branches. Sedentary in areas with sufficient water, but nomadic in drier areas. Lays 2 to 4 white eggs on the decaying debris at the bottom of a large tree hollow, usually a Eucalypt close to a creek line. Named after one of Australia's early explorers.

Distribution

Widely distributed across arid and semi-arid inland areas of Australia.

Habitat

Dry inland areas usually along tree-lined watercourses, Eucalypt or Desert Oak woodlands and Acacia shrublands.

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