Probosciger a. aterrimus......................................................By Gideon Scheepers


These magnificent parrots are black, hence the name, the lores and forehead are black, the bare cheek patches light red becoming bright red when excited. The crest consisting of backward curved narrow feathers. There are three sub-species, namely: The Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger a. aterrimus), these are the smallest of the three, the Great or Goliath Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger a. goliath) which is larger than aterrimus and Van Oort's Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger a. stenolophus), which is the same size as goliath but the crest is definitley narrower. The feet are grey and the bill is black. They grow to a length of 60 - 68 cm in length.

Range & Habitat

Black Palms are found on Misool Isle, Aru Islands, southern New Guinea & Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia. And in northern New Guinea from Mamberamo River, West Irian, east to Collingwood Bay, eastern Papua; Japan Island. They Live mainly in or near rain forest, tall secondary forest, and local savanna. These parrots use to be common, but no longer found in many areas. Usually seen in pairs or small groups of up to 7 birds outside breeding season . They forage for food in trees, occasionally feeding on the ground.

Housing in Aviculture

They need a large robust aviary about 6-10 m long. They can also be kept in large suspended aviaries, with nestbox attatched on the outside.

Breeding in Aviculture

Being achived more often these days, they still remain rare in South Africa with very few aviculturists breeding them succesfully. They get a deep blush to cheeks during courtship, the crest is erected and foot stamping occurs. The hen will lay a single egg and incubation lasts 28 days. The young fledge at 90 - 110 days. The young birds are fed by parents for considerable time after leaving nest.



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