Gang-gang Cockatoo Fact File
The gang-gang cockatoo is colored slate grey with some scalloping across the body of both the male and female. They can be easily told apart with the male having a scarlet red head and crest of feathers. Both the male and female have a wispy crest of feathers on the head. Their tail is short. The beak is horn colored and the eye is dark brown.
Their body measures 32-37cm (12.6-14.6in) long and their wingspan is between 62 and 76cm (24.4-29.9in) across. An average weight would be between 240 and 330g (8.4 and 11.5oz).
Gang-gang cockatoos are omnivores. They feed on seeds, berries, nuts, fruits and insect larva.
Australia is the native home of the gang-gang cockatoo. Here they can found on the East coast in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. They have also been introduced to Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia.
It is believed that the population once found on King Island has gone extinct.
They make their home in forests and woodlands. They have also adapted to live in some urban areas.
Their habitat changes throughout the year. In summer they are found at higher altitudes and they will move to lower areas in winter.
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Breeding takes place from October to January. Pairs are monogamous and come together each year for mating.
Nests are built in to a tree hollow. This hollow is normally at least 9m (29.5ft) long. Most pairs will use the same nest each year. The hollow is lined with wood chips and wood dust which is chewed up using the strong beak.
In the nest the female will deposit up to 3 eggs. Both parents work together to incubate the eggs. Incubation lasts for four weeks.
After hatching the chicks will spend seven to eight weeks in the nest and a further four to six weeks reliant on the parents once they fledge.
These birds are highly social and will often nest in close proximity. The young will be left in a group while the adults go out and forage.
Sexual maturity is reached at 4 years old.
Their call is similar to the sound of a creaking door hinge. While feeding they can make a soft growl.
Most of their time is spent in trees. The main reason they would come to the ground is to drink or to forage among pine cones.
During breeding season they will move around as a pair of a small family group. Throughout the rest of the year they may be seen in groups as large as 60.
Predators and Threats
Humans have affected the population of gang-gang cockatoos through habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive species which push them out of their habitat.
There is also an increasing presence of Psittacine cirovirus disease (PCD) in their
The gang gang cockatoo is the fauna emblem of the Australian Capital Territory.
They are also known as the red headed or red crowned cockatoo.
Their name comes from a New South Wales Aboriginal language.
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