How long do they live?  They can live a long time! 83 year old Cookie the cockatoo was a long time resident of the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois [1]. Cookie passed away in August of 2016.

Where are they found? Although found in homes and zoos all across the planet, pink cockatoos are native to Australia [2], which is odd because I thought all creatures from Australia were aggressive and/or venomous.

What do they eat? They enjoy a diet of seeds, nuts, and fruits [3].

lophochroa_leadbeateri_-artis_zoo_-netherlands_-eating-8d
Figure 1. Cheers!

What do they look like? Pink cockatoos weigh around a pound and grow to be around 1.3 feet long with a wingspan of around 2 1/2 feet. As the name implies they have a pink tint to their feathers with white wings and tail [3].

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Figure 2. Knowing that these birds mate for life makes this picture that much more cute.
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Figure 3. Cacatua leadbeateri

How do scientists know how old they are? Well, in the case of Cookie, her birth date was known. To know how long a bird can live, you must also know when it was born.

How do they reproduce? This lovely bird reproduces sexually and lays eggs. Pink cockatoos form lifelong bonds with their mate and they reach sexual maturity between 3 to 4 years old [3]. Imagine meeting your partner at 3 years old and sticking with him or her for the next 79 years. That’s nuts. I could not find any reproductive senescence information for the Pink Cockatoo.

So what are we lacking? Reproductive senescence information would be great for such a long-lived species. There’s no information about Cacatua leadbeateri on the NCBI website.

Conservation status: These intelligent and brightly colored birds are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN website, which is great news; hopefully it stays that way.

If you can contribute senescence information about this species or any information you think would be helpful feel free to contact me.

 

  1. Chicago Zoological Society Saddened by Loss of Oldest Animal Resident
    at Brookfield Zoo: Cookie Cockatoo. https://www.czs.org/Chicago-Zoological-Society/About/Press-room/2016-Press-Releases/Chicago-Zoological-Society-Saddened-by-Loss-of-Old Accessed 10/20/2016.
  2. Birdlife International. org. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo Cacatua leadbeateri.  http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=1397  Accessed 10/20/2016.
  3. Animal Diversity.org. Pink Cockatoo.  http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cacatua_leadbeateri/#food_habits  Accessed 10/20/2016.