The black palm cockatoo is a very dark, smoky gray color that appears blacker on some birds than others. The same color appears on their very long crest, as well as their feet and legs.
This otherwise single-colored bird has bright red patches of bare skin on their cheeks, which change colors when the bird gets excited. It is as striking as the dark grayish-black beak, giving it a very distinct profile up close.
Somewhat intimidating, their beak is only eclipsed in size by the hyacinth macaw within the parrot family. The size, shape, and the fact that the upper and lower mandibles don’t meet make it perfect for cracking open the toughest nuts.
A monomorphic species, there is no visual way to tell males from females. If you’re curious about your bird’s sex, DNA sexing is necessary.
A black palm cockatoo is not a good option for bird owners who live in apartments or condominiums. They possess very distinct, extremely loud calls, and you (and your neighbours) need to be able to tolerate loud noises in order to live with one.
Their natural vocalizations have a human-like sound, including their signature “hellow.” This does suit them well for learning how to really say words, though. They’re considered one of the best talking cockatoos.
Black palm cockatoos should not be left alone for more than eight hours a day, so they’re not a good choice if you have a normal work schedule or other obligations. They also require a large cage and plenty of space to play. If you cannot accommodate such a large aviary, it’s best to consider one of the smaller cockatoo species.