Saturday, July 29, 2023

Yellow-Crested Cockatoo

The yellow-crested cockatoo, also known as the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, is found in East Timor and the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas. It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Wikipedia notes an estimated population of less than 2,500. There are five subspecies, including Cacatua sulphurea occidentalis, found in the western and central Lesser Sunda islands, including Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and critically rare on Flores. The IUCN estimates that there are 1,200 to 2,000 mature birds extant and further that Komodo Island has an estimated population of 1,100 birds, which looks like it may be the place with the largest population.  
Yellow-crested cockatoo range from Wikipedia.
It has white plumage, a black bill, bluish white bare skin around the eye, gray feet, a yellow or orange crest and yellow ear coverts (coloring on the cheeks), and yellow undersurface on the wings and tail. 
We were in the Loh Liang Valley on Komodo on a hike led by a Komodo NP guide when one landed in a tree near us and started squawking. The guide got quite excited and asked to see my photo. He was a little disappointed with it as was I. My camera was not functioning well because of water damage and I was using manual focus that was not always cooperating. I'm glad I at least got a recognizable photo. 

I have always associated cockatoos with Australia and was surprised to see one on Komodo. However, there are 21 species of cockatoo and there are some dramatic differences between them. 

1 comment:

  1. Even I could identify this bird when we saw it! Very exciting to see one in the wild and not in a cage in a pet shop or on a perch at the zoo.