I have loved Palm Cockatoos ever since the very first time that I laid eyes on them; they are just such incredible, majestic birds! Not only are they striking in the looks department, but their behaviour and vocalisations demonstrate their great intelligence as well. Aside from a very small number of birds that have been held by a handful of aviculturists over the past 60 or so years, they have never really been available in Australian aviculture; this I feel is a great shame.
Unfortunately, from all accounts, the wild populations of the Australian subspecies Probosciger aterrimus macgillivrayi in North Queensland are not doing well, with their very slow breeding rate combined with the pressures of land clearing, mining and a changing climate that has meant traditional seasons are not as they previously were, meaning food sources are becoming available at different times and changes are being seen in the timing of the wet season, along with the regular cyclones that are experienced in the region. In basic terms, Australia has an ageing population of Palm Cockatoos, that is reproducing at a very slow rate; not a positive combination at all. If only there was a viable captive population of the Australian subspecies that could at least be managed as a safety net, just in case things go from bad to worse, which is unfortunately quite likely to occur.
I snapped the accompanying photo of a pair mating during a visit to Walsrode Bird Park, Germany back in 2010.