Amazing Gang-gang Cockatoos
Gang-gang Cockatoos are sturdy, medium-sized birds with short tails and broad wings. Their mottled grey plumage contrasts with the shock of crimson feathers on the heads of male birds. Females have reddish feathers on their undersides.
Like other cockatoos, Gang-gangs are noisy, conspicuous, gregarious birds with curved beaks for crushing seeds. They are locally common within their distribution but are experiencing a worrying decline.
Gang-gang Cockatoos begin breeding at four years of age. This late start limits the rate at which populations can build up, which is another conservation concern. Males and females pair for life and will often return to the same nesting tree each year. Breeding takes place between October and January; females lay up to 3 eggs in tree-hollow nests, and both parents incubate and rear the young. Several pairs may nest close together, and their young aggregate in ‘creches’ while their parents are out foraging.
These birds migrate seasonally; they spend summers in high-altitude areas, moving to warmer lowland areas in winter. While they can adapt to new food sources such as pine nuts from introduced trees, they need old-growth forests with hollow trees for nesting.