The Palm Cockatoo

(Probosciger aterrimus).

Also called the Cape York Cockatoo and the Great Palm Cockatoo, the Palm Cockatoo's scientific name is derived from the Greek terms 'Proboscis' meaning nose and 'gero' meaning to carry plus the Latin term 'atterimus meaning very black.

The Palm Cockatoo is a rainforest bird found on the Cape York Peninsula in the extreme north of Queensland as far south as the Rocky River. They are also native to New Guinea and the Aru Islands. They travel in pairs or small flocks, frequenting jungle and open forests.

The Palm Cockatoo breeds in forest country and feeds in the jungle on the kernels of large fruits and on grubs torn out of rotten wood by its large bill. It's calls include a short, harsh screech and a low, short whistle, 'hweet-hweet', but many other notes are uttered.

The charcoal plumage and scarlet cheeks of the Palm Cockatoo combine to create a startling visual effect. Their nest, usually located high in a hole in a tree, is lined with masses of splintered twigs, apparently to prevent water-logging. A single white egg is produced. The breeding-season extends from August to January.

Sources:
Neville W. Cayley's 'What Bird is That' - 1931.
Australia's Wilderness Heritage - Flora & Fauna, 1988


The Palm Cockatoo is featured on the following Australian coins:

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