PHOTOREPORT: Suplhur-crested Cockatoo as a beautiful parrot or noisy pest?

October 2nd, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
PHOTOREPORT: Suplhur-crested Cockatoo as a beautiful parrot or noisy pest?

There are four  subspecies of Sulphur-crested Cockatoo according to Arndt’s taxonomy and five mentioned by Forshaw. Two of them are found in Australia, Forshaw describes also one more Australian subspecies Cacatua galerita queenslandica living on Cape York. These parrots should be smaller with broader bills. Otherwise it’s quite easy to recognize Cacatua galerita fitzroyi found in northern Australia from Kimberley division east to Gulf of Carpentaria and Cacatua galerita galerita from southern and eastern coastal forests. The rest Asian subspecies are Cacatua galerita triton found on New Guinea and Cacatua galerita eleonora from Aru Islands.

What’s the difference between subspecies fitzroyi and galerita?

The main difference between fitzroyi and galerita is in shape of body and length of crest. Fitzroyi has much longer crest and narrower body (especially head).


fitzroyi vs galerita

Comparison of galerita (on the left) and fitzroyi (on the right). See the different shape of body and size of the crest. (c) Lubomir Tomiska


A pure fitzroyi pair. (c) Lubomir Tomiska


Pair of fitzroyi in another Australian facility (c) Lubomir Tomiska


Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in the city

For me seeing of Sulphur-crested cockatoos in the wild and Australian cities was fantastic experience. However, for local people these birds might be very annoying. Firstly, they are extremely noisy, you hear their sharp voice even if the birds are flying several kilometres away. Secondly, they are everywhere along the coast. You won’t see them only inland. And what’s probably the worst, whole flocks of these parrots visit crops and destroy whatever they find.


kakadu krmeni

People feed wild cockatoos in city parks very often (c) Lubomir Tomiska

kakadu antena

(c) Lubomir Tomiska

kakadu rvacka

In Europe, sparrows come on the feeder, in Australia there are cockatoos. (c) Lubomir Tomiska


Winton Wetlands

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This swamp is home of thousands and thousands of Sulphur-crested cockatoos and Long and Short-billed corellas. Birds also nest there. Winton Wetlands is a magic place which looks like the end of the world but on the other hand there is so many living animals that it gives you tremendous experience.



The end of the world where thousands of cockatoos live (c) Lubomir Tomiska


Black swans family (c) Lubomir Tomiska


(c) Lubomir Tomiska


(c) Lubomir Tomiska


(c) Lubomir Tomiska


(c) Lubomir Tomiska


(c) Lubomir Tomiska


“Yellow” mutation

During our travelling across Australian continent we visited one breeder who has such interesting mutation in his breeding. What is that? Recessive lutino?

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(c) Lubomir Tomiska
















Title photo: Cockatoos in Winton Wetlands, (c) Lubomir Tomiska




  1. emmett renshaw says:

    great work lubomir

    • Gary Smith says:

      Great article, cockattoos are not the noisy pests, it is us humans with our noisy polluting cars and machines. I still get excited every time I hear the calls of Sulfur crests wherever I am.

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