The Palm Cockatoo also has a distinctive red cheek patch that changes colour when the bird is alarmed or excited.
It has a unique display where the bird (typically the male) drums a large branch against a dead bough or tree, creating a loud noise that can be heard up to 100 m away. It is possible that females can assess the durability of the nesting hollow by the resonance of this drumming display.
Palm Cockatoos only lay one egg and have one of the lowest breeding success rate reported for any species of parrot. Off-setting this is their very long life-span. A male commenced breeding at age 29 in Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and another was 40 when she laid he first egg at London Zoo in 1966. There is anecdotal evidence of a Palm Cockatoo reaching 80 or 90 years of age in an Australian zoo,although the oldest confirmed individual was aged 56 in London Zoo in 2000. Breeding takes place inside tree hollows, which are typically like standing pipes. Fires play an important role in the destruction and creation of nest hollows. Fires allow the colonisation of microorganisms and termites which enter the tree and start hollowing out the inside. Cyclones are important in the final stage of nest hollow development.
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