The Yellow-crested Cockatoo
, Cacatua sulphurea
, aka Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
, is a medium-sized (up to 35cm long) cockatoo
with all-white feathers
, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, black bill
, and yellow crest
. Both sexes are similar.
The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is distributed to wooded and cultivated areas of Timor-Leste and Indonesia's islands of Bali, Timor, Sulawesi and Lesser Sunda Islands. It is easily confused with the larger and more common Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, which is native to Australia and can be distinguished by the lack of pale yellow coloring on its cheeks (although some sulphur-cresteds develop yellowish patches). The Yellow-crested Cockatoo also has a brighter crest which is closer to orange in color. The Yellow-crested Cockatoo's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants. The female lays two to three eggs in a tree hole, and the incubation is shared by both parents.
Description and identification
The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is about 35 cm (14 in) long. They are predominantly white, and have a retractile yellow crest. It has yellowish patches on the sides of the face. In contrast the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
is larger and usually lack the yellowish patches on the sides of the face, and the crest of the Citron-crested Cockatoo
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.
The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is critically endangered
. Numbers have declined dramatically due to illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade. The current population is estimated at less than 10,000. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES
There is a feral population of these birds in Hong Kong
. They are a common sight in the densely populated Sheung Wan area of the city. 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.
- Database entry includes justification for why this species is critically endangered