This cockatoo, often called a Pink cockatoo because of its pale pink color, is named for Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, an explorer and surveyor of Southeast Australia in the 1800s. It has soft white and salmon-pink feathers and a large, bright yellow and red crest, and is generally regarded as the most beautiful amongst the cockatoos. Its underwings are orange-pink and the flight feathers are white. Males have dark brown eyes, and females pink or red eyes.
Diet and Nutrition
The Major Mitchell’s cockatoo eats mainly the seeds of native and exotic melons, and seeds from several pine species. It also eats waste cereal grain, the seeds of several weed species and insect larvae from branches.
Major Mitchell’s cockatoos are monogamous, forming life-long pair bonds. In the mating season, the males attract female birds by strutting along branches while bobbing their heads up and down with raised crests. The mating season is between August and October. Male and female both build their nest by gathering pebbles and bits of wood. The same nest can be used year after year. Mating pairs are very territorial, needing to nest at one kilometer or more from other pairs. The female lays two to five eggs at the rate of one egg every 2 to 3 days. The incubation period is 23 to 30 days, the young remaining in the nest for a period of six to eight weeks prior to fledging. The fledglings continue to be fed, mostly by the male, for 8 more weeks. The young and their parents form small, family groups, staying together for a period of time after the young have reached independence. Juveniles are sexually mature at 3 to 4 years old.