Gang-gang Cockatoo

Callocephalon fimbriatum

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Gang-gang Cockatoo
Image: Gary Lewis
Source: Cheryl Lewis

Museum specimen featured in the Wild exhibition
Source: Museum Victoria

Type: bird

Gang-gang Cockatoo Gang-gang Cockatoo
Image: Gary Lewis
Source: Cheryl Lewis

Victorian Conservation Status

Secure Vulnerable Endangered Extinct  ]

Land clearing and the removal of old trees endangers Gang-gang Cockatoos because they lose their feeding habitat and breeding hollows. This species is also susceptible to psittacine circovirus disease which causes feather loss and beak abnormalities. In combination these factors present a serious threat to Gang-gang Cockatoos in the medium and long term.

WHAT THEY EAT

omnivore

Gang-gang Cockatoos are omnivores.

They eat seeds of native and introduced trees and shrubs, berries, fruits, nuts and insects.

HOW BIG THEY ARE

Gang-gang Cockatoo relative size depiction as described below

Size relative to a sparrow and a cat.

Weight:
average 257 g
Length:
32–37 cm
Wingspan:
62–76 cm

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.

Did You Know?

Gang-gang Cockatoos

  • often return to the same nesting tree each year
  • have a call that sound like a creaking gate, or a cork being pulled from a bottle
  • probably look similar to early, primitive cockatoos

WHERE THEY LIVE

Gang-gang Cockatoos are found in south-eastern Australia. They inhabit cool, wet forests, particularly alpine bushland, but may visit urban parks and gardens to feed.

OTHER ANIMALS

Other animals from the Victorian Alps

Bogong MothBaw Baw FrogMountain Pygmy-possum
Photograph of a yellow plastic Tyranasaurus Rex