Black Palm Cockatoos

These enormous birds are smart and pretty, but difficult to manage

Close up of black palm cockatoo
Floridapfe from S.Korea Kim in cherl/Moment Open/Getty Images

Unlike most other parrots, the Black Palm Cockatoo is not considered an affectionate bird. It's very sociable, like other cockatoos, needing regular interaction with its owners. But the size and temperament of this bird make it most suitable for experienced bird owners. It's not an ideal pet for everyone, but the Black Palm Cockatoo has its rewarding characteristics.

While hand fed Black Palm Cockatoos make excellent, tame pets, they still require firm training and are not for those who are new to keeping large parrots.

Simply put: These are bold parrots who need bold owners. Do not adopt a Black Palm Cockatoo if you are intimidated by large birds.

Black Palm Cockatoos are also called Goliath Cockatoos or Great Black Cockatoos. They're native to New Guinea and Indonesia. 

Plumage of the Black Palm Cockatoo

The Black Palm Cockatoo is not actually black, but instead a very dark, smoky gray color. They have bright red patches on their cheeks, gray feet and legs, and a dark grayish-black beak. Strikingly beautiful, with impressive size, Black Palm Cockatoos make unique pets for the right owner.

Feeding and Exercise for Black Palm Cockatoos

Like all cockatoos, Black Palm Cockatoos can grow overweight easily, so owners should carefully supervise their fat intake. A healthy diet for a pet Black Palm Cockatoo should consist of high-quality pellets, a moderate amount of seed mix and daily helpings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables.

Black Palm Cockatoos are large birds, and they need plenty of exercise to maintain their physical health. Make sure that your Black Palm Cockatoo is allowed a minimum of 3 to 4 hours outside of its cage each day so that it can stretch its muscles and play. These birds are inquisitive and have strong beaks, so they should always be supervised when outside of the cage to prevent accidents.


Temperament of Black Palm Cockatoos

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 are not a good choice for those who can't tolerate loud noises.

Black Palm Cockatoos are one of the very few bird species who use tools. In their natural habitats, male birds will use a large stick to "drum" against a hollow tree before choosing where to build a nest. This behavior still puzzles many scientists who study birds; there's no obvious explanation for why Black Palm Cockatoos use drumming in the wild. 

In captivity, Black Palm Cockatoos require a large cage and plenty of space to play.

Those who cannot accommodate such a large aviary should consider one of the other various Cockatoo species.

Where to Get a Black Palm Cockatoo

Before adopting a Black Palm Cockatoo, contact local breeders to see if you can spend some time with them and their birds. Getting to know someone that has experience raising Black Palm Cockatoos will help you decide if they are the right bird for you.

And don't be discouraged if you find this bird is a bad fit. It's better to adopt a bird that you can handle than one whose needs won't be met in your care.

There are plenty of other cockatoos to choose from.