Cacatua alba ...................................................................... By Gideon Scheepers
They are mainly white with a broad umbrella like crest. They have a yellowish wash to the underside of the tail and wings. The bill is black, and the eye ring has a faint blue tinge. The male have a black iris and hens have a reddish-brown iris, which is achieved at the age of about 4 years old. They grow to a length of about 45-cm.
Range & Habitat
Umbrellas are found in Indonesia. They prefer forests, open woodland, and cleared areas with isolated trees. They are becoming scarce in their natural habitat, due to over-trapping and deforestation. They can be seen in pairs or small groups of 3 to 12 birds.
Housing in Aviculture
They need strong roomy aviaries, be it suspended or conventional. Robust perches are a must as well as a nestbox or log.
Breeding in Aviculture
Umbrellas are relatively easy to breed and can be prolific once established. We supply our pairs with a tree stump 40-cm in diameter and 90 cm high. We also use a PVC pipe nest of about the same size. They are seasonal breeders, usually starting in early spring, but can occur at other times of year. Clutch size is normally 2 eggs and incubation lasts 28 days, the young fledge at around 11 to 14 weeks.
Umbrellas make great cuddly teddy bear like pets, my
pet umbrella, loves to get into bed with me and have a cuddle. They
will learn to talk, and whistle and even sing, but to me it is the
affection that they show that wins me over.
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