The Umbrella Cockatoo , scientific name Cacatua alba, is a white cockatoo with black crest feathers that have a long wedge shape and droop down the head. The Umbrella Cockatoo gets its name from the crest being swept back like an Umbrella, resembling the Umbrella tree.
The Umbrella Cockatoo can be identified by its primarily white body and face with a dark brown band around its legs. It also has distinctive black markings on wings and tails [with pictures]. Umbrellas also have blue skin at their eyes which becomes more visible when they are in poor health or stressed [with pictures]. Males tend to be lighter in colour than females though this does not hold true in all Umbrella Cockatoo species.
The Umbrella Cockatoo has a life span of 60-80 years with their natural habitat being in the drier areas of central Australia. Umbrellas are listed as vulnerable to extinction due to illegal trapping for trade, land clearing and by feral cats preying on Umbrella Chickens [ Umbrella Chickens are baby Umbrellas ]. Umbrellas are known for their intelligence making them trainable however they require strong training methods with small frequent rewards to make sure they do not become bored during training sessions.
Umbrella Cockatoos can be found in both flocks and alone throughout its range . The Umbrella Cockatoo is also known to interact with other native birds while out looking for food. Umbrella Cockatoo chicks leave the nest at 6-7 months which is very young in comparison to other cockatoos that take 8-9 months to fledge. Umbrella Chickens are known to be noisy and boisterous making their presence heard loud and clear! Umbrella Chickens also have a piercing screech call when danger may present itself.
Umbrella Cockatoos gather in large numbers of 20 or more when eating nectar from Eucalyptus trees . Umbrellas feed on seeds, fruit, nuts , the leaves of chenopods / saltbush ( Atriplex ) and mistletoe ( Amyema ) [with]. Umbrellas require large areas of Umbrella Gums to survive. Umbrella Cockatoos can travel up to 10km from their nest site in search of food and water during the day . Umbrellas form large sleeping flocks on the ground at night near fresh water.
Umbrella Cockatoos build a stick-like nest called a ‘saddle-shape’ which is very strong and deep making it impossible for predators such as Currawongs, Owls and Dingoes to reach their chicks. Umbrella Chickens leave their nests after 125-150 days . Umbrellas breed every 2 years however they will generally lay 4 eggs per year as back up just in case some do not hatch or die early on. Once Umbrellas reach breeding age they start to form life-long relationships with their partners. Umbrella Cockatoos have a lifespan of around 60-80 years in the wild.
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