Friday, November 5, 2010

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, Lophochroa leadbeateri, also known as Leadbeater's Cockatoo or Pink Cockatoo, is a medium-sized cockatoo restricted to arid and semi-arid inland areas of Australia. It is here placed in its own monotypic genus Lophochroa, though to include it in Cacatua as others do is not wrong as long as the corellas are also included there

With its soft-textured white and salmon-pink plumage and large, bright red and yellow crest, it is generally recognised as the most beautiful of all cockatoos. It is named in honour of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, who wrote "Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-coloured wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region".

It is possibly (though not certainly) a little closer related to Cacatua than the Galah, and its lineage diverged around the time of or shortly after the acquisition of the long crest – probably the former as this crest type is not found in all Cacatua cockatoos and therefore must have been present in an early or incipient stage at the time of the divergence of the Major Mitchell's Cockatoo's ancestors. Like the Galah, this species has not lost the ability to deposit diluted pigments dyes in its body plumage, although it does not produce melanin coloration anymore, resulting in a lighter bird overall compared to the Galah. Indeed, disregarding the crest, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo looks almost like a near-leucistic version of that species (see also "External links" below). Another indication of the early divergence of this species from the "white" cockatoo lineage is the presence of features found otherwise only in corellas, such as the plaintive yodeling cry, as well as others which are unique to Major Mitchell's and the true white cockatoos, for example the large crest and rounded wing shape.[1]

The scientific name commemorates the British naturalist, Benjamin Leadbeater. In Central Australia south of Alice Springs, the Pitjantjatjara term is kakalyalya.[3]

Distribution and habitat
Unlike the Galah, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo has declined rather than increased as a result of man-made changes to the arid interior of Australia. Where Galahs readily occupy cleared and part-cleared land, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo requires extensive woodlands, particularly favouring Callitris, Allocasuarina and Eucalyptus. In contrast to other cockatoos, Major Mitchell pairs will not nest close to one another; in consequence, they cannot tolerate fragmented, partly-cleared habitats, and their range is contracting.

In the Mallee region of Victoria where the Galah and Major Mitchell's Cockatoo can be found to be nesting in the same area, there has been on occasion where the two species have interbred and produced hybridised offspring[4]

Galah Cockatoo

The Galah (pronounced /ɡəˈlɑː/), Eolophus roseicapilla, also known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo, Roseate Cockatoo or Pink and Grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia.

It is endemic in Australia (and introduced to Tasmania [1]), where its distinctive pink and grey plumage and its bold and loud behaviour make it a familiar sight in the bush and increasingly in urban areas. It appears to have benefited from the change in the landscape since European colonisation and may be replacing the Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in parts of its range.Galahs are found in all Australian states, and are absent only from the driest areas and the far north of Cape York Peninsula. It is still uncertain whether they are native to Tasmania, though they are locally common today, especially in urban areas. [4]. They are common in some metropolitan areas, for example Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, and common to abundant in open habitats which offer at least some scattered trees for shelter. The changes wrought by European settlement, a disaster for many species, have been highly beneficial for the galah because of the clearing of forests in fertile areas and the provision of stock watering points in arid zones.

Flocks of galahs will often congregate and forage on foot for food in open grassy areas.Galahs are highly social and very long-lived; though they are sometimes kept as pets, this is not something to be undertaken lightly as they bond socially with their owners and may well outlive them, and like most cockatoos, are noisy and require a great deal of attention and care. They are however very easy to keep and maintain as pets. Both male and female galahs are great talkers, but the male is thought to be the better talker. They're very loving and affectionate birds that have a tendency to purr like cats as a sign of their affection. They form a very strong bond with their owner and like to think of themselves as 'part of the family'. However, they do like their privacy at times and are quite happy to simply be around the family rather than be handled all hours of the day.

The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and neighbouring Aboriginal languages.[2]
Galahs are about 35 cm (14 in) long and weighs 270–350 g. It has a pale grey to mid-grey back, a pale grey rump, a pink face and chest, and a light pink mobile crest. It has a bone-coloured beak and the bare skin of the eye rings is carunculated. It has grey legs. The genders appear similar, however generally adult birds differ in the colour of the irises; the male has a very dark brown (almost black) irises, and the female has a mid-brown/red irises. The colours of the juveniles are duller than the adults. Juveniles have greyish chests, crowns, and crests, and they have brown irises and whitish bare eye rings, which are not carunculated.[3]

Gang -Gang Cockatoo

The Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum, is found in the cooler and wetter forests and woodlands of Australia, particularly alpine bushland. Mostly mild grey in colour with some lighter scalloping (more pronounced and buffish in females) the male has a red head and crest, while the female has a small fluffy grey crest. It ranges throughout south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The Gang-gang Cockatoo is the faunal emblem of the Australian Capital Territory. It is easily identified by its distinctive call, which is described as resembling a creaky gate, or the sound of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle.

The name Gang-gang comes from a New South Wales Aboriginal language, either Breeding
Unlike most other cockatoos, Gang-gangs nest in young, solid trees, the females using their strong beaks to excavate nesting cavities.

[edit] Status
Lots of older, hollow trees and loss of feeding habitat across south-eastern Australia through land clearing has led to a significant reduction in the numbers of this cockatoo in recent years. As a result, the Gang-Gang is now listed as vulnerable.[citation needed]

[edit] Taxonomy
The Gang-gang Cockatoo was most often allied with the white cockatoos of the genus Cacatua. This has always been controversial due to the unusual appearance and coloration of the bird, especially its sexual dichromatism. New research has finally resolved the matter, with the Gang-gang Cockatoo being recognized as a distinctive early offshoot of the calyptorhynchine (dark) cockatoos (Brown & Toft, 1999). Considering the robust phylogeny of the cockatoos now established, a comparison of characters gained and lost during the evolution of cockatoos suggests that the Gang-gang Cockatoo - while of course much changed and adapted during the maybe 20 million years since its last common ancestor with any other living species lived - is probably still very similar in overall appearance to how the earliest cockatoos would have looked, and certainly the most primitive-looking of the species alive today.
Ngunnawal or Wiradjuri. It is possible both language groups called it gang gang.

Greater Sulphur Cockatoo

Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
cacatua galerita

Length: 38-51cm/15-20 inches
Weight: 350-500 grams
Life span: 40-60 years
Incubation: 30 days
Age at weaning: 14 weeks
Age at maturity: 3 years
Natural habitat: Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, New Guinea and offshore islands.

The Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is a fairly common bird in lowland forests and savannah country. In Australia they are common inhabitants of forests, open wooland and farmland. They are noisy, conspicuous birds. Usually found in pairs or small family parties during the breeding season, at other times they are found in flocks of several hundred.

Whenever they frequent open countryside they have a sentinel warning system. A few birds remain perched at the top of trees while the flock feeds on the ground below. At the approach of danger the sentinels rise into the air screeching loudly. The rest of the flock are warned and they too rise into the air.

They feed on seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, flower, leaf buds, roots as well as insects and their larvae. They are known as pests in crop-growing areas, although they do eat a considerable amount of weed seeds as well.

They nest in a hollow limb or tree trunk, generally high up and frequently near a water source. The normal clutch is 2 eggs.

The adult Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is mostly white. They have a large forward curving crest which is yellow. Like the Lesser Sulphur Crested they have yellow under their wings and tail, this is easily seen when they are in flight. Their beak is black and their eye rings are white.

Pet potential: Hand raised Cockatoos make exceptionally loving pets. They are both friendly and intelligent, and are very social, affectionate creatures. They are natural chewers, Cockatoos must be provided with branches or strips of wood. Some birds can be very noisy, especially during the early morning and evening hours. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos may be less prone to developing behaviour such as feather plucking and screaming then other popular Cockatoo species. However, these birds have a lot more energy then species such as the Umbrella Cockatoo and need to be kept occupied and stimulated.

Talking ability: Poor-Moderate

Noise level: High

Cage requirements: 3 x 4 x 5 foot

Interesting fact: The Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo will mob birds of prey and even throw sticks at them.

Another interesting fact: There are five major types of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. The Lesser, Citron Crested, Eleonora (or Medium Sulphur Crested), Greater Sulphur Crested and Triton. They all have very similar personalities, though the smaller 3 are known for being a bit more highly strung. What separates them from the other Cockatoo species are their tall, narrow crests which are yellow for them all but the Citron Crested, which is orange.

Medium Sulphur

Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
cacatua galarita eleonora

Length: 44cm/17 inches
Weight: 550-600 grams
Life Span: 50+ years
Incubation: 28 days
Age at Weaning: 14 weeks
Age at Maturity: 2 -3 years
Natural Habitat: Aru Islands, Indonesia

Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoos seem to be happy anywhere where there are trees, from forests and open woodland to partially cleared areas and arid areas with stands of trees. They can normally be seen in pairs or small flocks and, occasionally, in larger flocks near fruiting trees. They tend to roost in tall trees on the forest edge and at dawn they can be heard screeching loudly as they fly off to the nearest water.

Their diet consists of seeds, fruit, berries, nuts, buds, flowers as well as insects and their larvae. They also regularly visit cultivated areas where they cause considerable damage to farmers crops.

They nest in hollows in tall trees, normally near water. A normal clutch is 2, occasionally 3, eggs. The young will start to leave the nest at around 10 weeks, their parents will continue to feed the young until they are fully weaned at around 12-13 weeks.

The Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is predominantly white. Their ear coverts are pale yellow, and their crest is also yellow. Their under wing coverts and under tail coverts are white washed with yellow, and the base of their throat and their cheek feathers are yellowish The skin to their periophthalmic ring is whitish, occasionally with a very faint blue tinge. Their legs and feet are a dark grey and their bill is blackish. The only difference with the sexes is the iris's of the male are blackish brown and the iris's of the female are reddish brown, though all immature birds have brown iris's.

Pet potential: Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are highly intelligent birds and they require much attention from their owners. They are also very destructive and need to be given lots of fresh branches to chew, and toys to play with, to keep them occupied. As with all Cockatoo's they need a routine from day one, without this routine they will quickly resort to screaming for attention. They are not really known for their talking ability but they will learn a few words however, they can easily be taught tricks and they love interactive toys, these will keep them occupied for ages. They are not a beginners bird and if they are not given the right conditions they will start plucking. It's worth noting that the most rescued birds are Cockatoo's by a very large margin. They are extremely noisy and are unsuitable for anyone with close neighbours. As with all of the large Cockatoos a lot of research should be done before committing yourself to one of these beautiful birds.

Talking ability: Poor

Noise level: Extremely High

Cage requirements: Minimum 3 x 4 x 5 foot

Interesting fact: The Medium Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, or the Eleonora Cockatoo, is in fact a subspecies of the the Greater Crested Cockatoo (cacatua galerita) although sometimes the larger Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are mistaken for them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lesser sulphur Cockatoo

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Cacatua sulphurea, also known as the Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, is a medium-sized (approximately 35 cm long) cockatoo with white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill, and a retractile yellow crest. The sexes are similar. Lessor, the cockatoo used in the TV series Baretta, was a Yellow-crested Cockatoo.

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is found in wooded and cultivated areas of East Timor (Timor-Leste) and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas. It is easily confused with the larger[2][3] and more common Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, which has a more easternly distribution and can be distinguished by the lack of pale yellow coloring on its cheeks (although some Sulphur-cresteds develop yellowish patches). Also, the Yellow-crested Cockatoo's crest is a brighter color, closer to orange.[4] The Citron-crested Cockatoo, which is a subspecies of the Yellow-crested Cockatoo, is similar, but its crest is orange.[5]

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants.

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and there are usually two in a clutch. The incubation is shared by both parents. The eggs are incubated for about 28 days and the chicks leave the nest about 75 days after hatching.[5]

[edit] Status and conservation
The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is critically endangered.[1] Numbers have declined dramatically due to illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade. Between 1980 and 1992, over 100,000 of these birds were legally exported from Indonesia yet a German proposal submitted to CITES to move it to Appendix I[6] was not approved. It has since been moved to Appendix I.[2] The current population is estimated at as few as 2,500 individuals and is thought to be declining in number.[2]

The subspecies abbotti is found only on the island of Masakambing, one of the Masalembu islands. Its population on this tiny island (about 5 km2 or 1.9 mi2) had fallen to 10 as of June and July 2008. The decline results from trapping and logging, especially of mangrove (Avicennia apiculata) and kapok trees.[7]

Several national parks provide protection of their habitat, including Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park on Sulawesi, Komodo National Park in Komodo Island, the national parks of Manupeu Tanah Daru and Laiwangi Wanggameti on Sumba as well as the Nino Konis Santana National Park in East Timor (Timor-Leste).[2]

[edit] Introduced population
There is an introduced population of these birds in Hong Kong. They are a common sight across the densely populated area on both sides of the harbour, easily spotted in the woods and public parks in the northern and western of Hong Kong Island. The large group has apparently developed from a number of caged birds that have been released into the Hong Kong skies over many years. An often repeated story is that Hong Kong Governor Sir Mark Aitchison Young released Government House's entire bird collection – including a large number of Yellow-crested Cockatoos – hours before surrendering Hong Kong to Japanese troops in December 1941

King Parrot

The king parrots are three species of medium-sized parrots in the genus Alisterus; the Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis), the Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus), and the Moluccan King Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis). The three species are found in Eastern Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesian islands including the Maluku islands respectively. Predominantly of red and green plumage, the long tailed parrots are related to the genera Aprosmictus and Polytelis.

King parrots are medium-sized parrots, 35–43 cm (14–17 in) in length with long-broad tails. They have relatively small beaks for their size. The beaks of the adults are two colours, blackish and orange-reddish, except for the subspecies buruensis of the Moluccan King Parrot which has a grey-black beak, and female Australian King Parrot which has a grey beak.[1]

[edit] Sexual dimorphism
The Papuan King Parrot and the Australian King Parrot show sexual dimorphism in their plumage and beak colouration, which contrast to the Moluccan King Parrot where the male and female have an identical external appearance.[1]

The two subspecies of the Australian King Parrot are similar except in size. The male has a red head and neck, red lower parts, blue back and rump, green wings each with a pale-green band (resembling a shoulder stripe). In the female there is red plumage over the lower abdomen, green is continuous over the chest, back, neck and head, and the pale-green wing band is small or absent.[1]

The three subspecies of the Papuan King Parrot all show sexual dimorphism and in all three subspecies the male can be identified by a prominent broad pale-green band on each wing. The differences in the females between subspecies are more marked than the differences in the males. The female of subspecies A. c. moszkowskii has green wings, and a red head, neck, chest and abdomen resembling the male, and differs from the male with its much smaller pale-green wing band. The females of A. c. chloropterus and A. c. calloterus differ from the males with broadly similar sexual dimorphism to the Australian King Parrot with extended green plumage, except the chests of the females of these two Papuan King Parrot subspecies have vague transverse green and red striations.[1]

[edit] Behaviour and ecology
The three species are forest-dwelling, and are found singly, in pairs, or in groups.[2] Australian King Parrots sometimes gather in groups of up to 30 or more around food sources, while Moluccan King Parrots sometimes form groups up to ten, and the Moluccan King Parrots may gather in groups of fives or sixes.[2] They generally feed on seeds, fruits and berries in trees.

Fig Parrot

Fig parrots are two small genera of parrots (Cyclopsitta and Psittaculirostris) of the Psittacidae family found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and tropical Australia. The subdivisions within the tribe are controversial. The Double-eyed Fig Parrot is 13–16 cm in length and is the smallest Australian parrot.

[edit] Tribe Cyclopsittacini
Genus Cyclopsitta
Orange-breasted Fig Parrot, Cyclopsitta gulielmitertii
Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Cyclopsitta diophthalma
Genus Psittaculirostris
Large Fig Parrot, Psittaculirostris desmarestii
Edwards's Fig Parrot, Psittaculirostris edwardsii
Salvadori's Fig Parrot, Psittaculirostris salvadorii
[edit] Diet
As its name suggests, a Fig Parrot's diet consists mainly of the various figs that grow in its natural habitat. It will also eat many other types of fruit and also nectar

Chattering Lory (Parrot)

The Chattering Lory, Lorius garrulus is a forest-dwelling parrot endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia. It is considered vulnerable, the main threat being from trapping for the cage-bird trade.

The race L. g. flavopalliatus is known as the Yellow-backed Lorikeet.

The Chattering Lory is 30 cm (12 in) long. It is mostly red with an all-red head and an orange beak. The eyerings are grey and the irises are orange-red. The wings are mainly green and the angle of the wing is yellow. Its thighs are green. The tail is tipped with dark green. It has dark grey legs. It may or may not have a yellow area on its back depending on the subspecies.[3]

Sun Conure

The Sun Parakeet or Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis) is a medium-sized brightly colored parrot native to northeastern South America. The adult male and female are similar in appearance, with predominantly golden-yellow plumage and orange-flushed underparts and face. It is commonly kept in aviculture. The species is endangered, threatened by loss of habitat and trapping for the pet trade.

On average, Sun Parakeets weigh approximately 110 g (4 oz) and are around 30 cm (12 in) long.[1] They are sexually monomorphic.

Adults have a rich yellow crown, nape, mantle, lesser wing-coverts, tips of the greater wing-coverts, chest, and underwing-coverts. The face and belly are orange with red around the ears. The base of the greater wing-coverts, tertials, and base of the primaries are green, while the secondaries, tips of the primaries, and most of the primary coverts are dark blue. The tail is olive-green with a blue tip. From below, all the flight feathers are dark greyish. The bill is black. The legs and the bare eye-ring are grey, but the latter often fades to white in captivity (so using amount of grey or white in the eye-ring for determining "purity" of an individual can be misleading). It is easily confused with the closely related Jandaya Parakeet and Sulphur-breasted Parakeet, but the former has entirely green wing-coverts, mantle and vent, while the latter has green mottling to the mantle and less orange to the underparts. The Sun Parakeet is also superficially similar to the pale-billed Golden Parakeet.

Juvenile Sun Parakeets display a predominantly green plumage and resemble similar-aged Sulphur-breasted Parakeets. The distinctive yellow, orange, and reddish colouration on the back, abdomen, and head is attained with maturity.[2]

Habitat and behavior
Its exact ecological requirements remain relatively poorly known. It is widely reported as occurring in savanna and coastal forests, but recent sightings suggest it mainly occurs at the edge of humid forest growing in foothills in the Guiana Shield, and crosses more open habitats only when traveling between patches of forest.

Like other members of the genus Aratinga, the Sun Parakeet is social and typically occurs in groups of up to 30 individuals. It has been reported as nesting in palm cavities. It mainly feeds on fruits, flowers, berries, nuts, and the like. Otherwise, relatively little is known about its behavior in the wild, in part due to confusion over what information refers to the Sun Parakeet and what refers to the Sulphur-breasted Parakeet. Regardless, the behavior of the two is unlikely to differ to any great extent.

The Sun Parakeet occurs only in a relatively small region of north-eastern South America: the north Brazilian state of Roraima, southern Guyana, extreme southern Suriname, and southern French Guiana. It also occurs as a vagrant to coastal French Guiana. Its status in Venezuela is unclear, but there are recent sightings from the south-east near Santa Elena de Uairén. It may occur in Amapá or far northern Pará (regions where the avifauna generally is very poorly documented), but this remains to be confirmed. Populations found along the Amazon River in Brazil are now known to belong to the Sulphur-breasted Parakeet.

In the past, the Sun Parakeet has been considered safe and listed as Least Concern, but recent surveys in southern Guyana (where previously considered common) and the Brazilian state Roraima have revealed that it possibly is extirpated from the former and rare in the latter. It is very rare in French Guiana, but may breed in the southern part of the country (this remains unconfirmed). This species is very popular in captivity, and large numbers have been caught for the pet trade. Today it is regularly bred in captivity, but the capture of wild individuals potentially remains a very serious threat. This has fueled recent discussions regarding its status, leading to it being uplisted to Endangered in the 2008 IUCN Red List.[7]

There are a number of threats to the Sun Parakeet that make this species endangered. One of the threats is deforestation which has declined its numbers. Other threats include hunting for feathers, poaching, and capture for sale as pets.

Description of Blue Naped Parrot Care In Captivity

Pet Suitability:
Fairly quiet-good for close neighbours.

Captive Status:
Occasionally available

Not available

Walk-in aviary, minimum length 3m (9.8 ft).

Mix of small seeds: canary, oats, safflower; spray millet; limited sunflower seed, dry, soaked or sprouted; sprouted mung or other beans, cooked butterbeans or lentils; boiled corn; fresh green leaves (Swiss chard, lettuce, sowthistle, dandelion, chickweed, etc); vegetables including carrot, celery, zucchini, squash, green beans and peas in the pod; fruit including apple, pear, orange, cactus fruits, bananas; nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and roasted peanuts, complete kibble.

Blue-naped Parrot

The Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), also known as the Blue-crowned Green Parrot, Luzon Parrot, the Philippine Green Parrot, and locally known as Pikoy, is a parrot found throughout the Philippines including the Talaud Islands and islands off north and east Borneo (with introduced population in Borneo itself, e.g. Kota Kinabalu). It is a medium size parrot (31 cm), primarily green except for a light blue rear crown and nape, pale blue lower back and rump, scalloped shoulders with orange-brown on black coverts, and blackish underwings with green underwing coverts.

It is found in secondary forest, forest edge and plantations up to 1000 m. Flock size is usually under a dozen. They feed on berries, seeds, nuts and grain. Habitat loss and trapping have made them scarce on most islands except Mindoro and Palawan. Though the Katala Foundation has raised concerns over the increasing illegal trade in this bird on Palawan.[1]