Lesser Citron-crested Cockatoo

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image: lccockatoo.jpg

Common Name: Citron-crested Cockatoo
Scientific Name: Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata

Size: 13-15 inches (33-40 cm)

Habitat: Asia; Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands and Sumba. Open forests, woodlands and agricultural areas.

Status: Critically endangered. Global Population: 2,500-9,999 Mature individuals. Its precipitous decline is almost entirely attributable to unsustainable exploitation for internal and international trade. Large-scale logging and conversion of forest to agriculture across its range has exacerbated the decline, and the use of pesticides since around 1989 is a further potential threat. At least formerly, the species was regarded as a crop-pest, and consequently persecuted. High rainfall years appear to limit productivity considerably resulting in very low recruitment. Conversely, rainfall on Komodo has been low in recent years leading to limited availability of water sources. Competition for cavity nest sites with other parrots and owls in large trees (those targeted by logging activities) leads to low productivity.

A cooperative recovery plan has been developed and adopted. Populations occur in several protected areas, the most important being Rawa Aopa Watumohai and Caraente National Parks (on Sulawesi) which supports up to 100 individuals, Suaka Margasatwa Nature Reserve on Pulau Moyo, Komodo National Park and two national parks on Sumba: Manupeu-Tanahdaru and Laiwangi-Wanggameti. The declared Nini Konis Santana National Park in Timor holds an estimated 100 birds. Moratoria on international trade have been effective at allowing several subpopulations on Sumba to increase in number between 1992 and 2002, although densities remained below those typical of other cockatoo species.

Diet: Fruits, berries, flowers, nuts and seeds.

Breeding: Cockatoo become sexually mature after two to four years. Two to five eggs are laid in September through October. Nesting takes place in hidden areas. Eggs incubate for about three and half to four weeks and the fledgling period lasts eight to ten weeks.

Cool Facts: Cockatoos raise their crests when alarmed. This crest and flash of color acts much as the Native American’s war bonnets, hopefully scaring off enemies. They may also extend their wings and flap them wildly and letting out ear-piercing shrieks to frighten off enemies. Cockatoos are the loudest of the parrot family. When content, they run their tongues across their ridged inner beaks creating a slurping-like sound. Their throat feather will also cover the majority of their lower beak. Cockatoos are particularly gregarious, traveling in small flocks. They generally mate for life, living sixty to eighty years.

They are very intelligent birds and are noted for their problem solving abilities. They love to play and chew on things. Cockatoos aren’t great talkers among the parrot family. Their vocabularies tend to be between ten to twenty human words or phrases and as with all parrots, the words are usually backed by associations. While the illegal pet trade has harmed the wild population by poaching, captive breeding has made the Lesser Citron Cockatoo is favorite among bird breeders. Many countries (including the UK) require papers to authenticate that the bird was captively bred. While difficult to find, the Lesser Citron is an excellent companion bird for those who have the time to invest in a very social and needy pet.

The creator of Songbird ReMix (Ken Gilliland) has a citron named "Elsa"


Found in Songbird Remix Second Edition

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