. gang gang cockatoo
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- An Australian Parrot
(Click on photos to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Callocephalon fimbriatum
- Common Name/s: GANG
GANG COCKATOO, ROSE CROWNED COCKATOO
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution: South
eastern Australia (southeast regions of New South Wales and southern
Victoria) plus an introduced colony on Kangaroo Island in
- Habitat In Wild: Woodlands
and heavily forested areas. Will visit suburban areas
including gardens and parks to feed on suitable trees and plants.
- Status In Wild: Declining due
to loss of habitat and loss of suitable nesting hollows usually
found in old growth forests.
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
3 - 4 years.
- Best breeding years (estimate):
5th year onwards
- Lifespan (estimate): approx.
20 or more
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Colour mutations: Possibly one, but
- Availability: Specialist breeders.
Very few young are bred each year.
- Temperament: Often a nervous
bird in captivity that can develop bad habits such as feather
plucking. Only for the
experienced parrot breeder. Prefers a cool climate. Wild
Gang Gangs will
visit and feed in suburban gardens and parks. They usually do not make a
good pet or companion bird. They do best with a mate or in a group.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $2000 - $2500
- Description Of Adults: Cock
bird has a bright red head and crest. The crest curves
forward. The hen has orange barring on the breast.
- Length: Approx. 350 mm (or approx. 14 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
- Weight: Approx. 200 - 300 gms (or approx 9 ozs)
Level Of Knowledge Required:
Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Housing Requirements: Refer to "
Housing Birds " web page for general
details on the housing of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for
An aviary of 5 metres (16 feet) long will allow
Gang Gang cockatoos to be able to get adequate exercise. The aviary should
be about 1.5 metres (5 feet) wide and about 2.1 metres (7 feet) high. Heavy gauge
wire is necessary, preferably galvanized weldmesh.
These birds are usually kept as one pair
Suitable non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up.
This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds
some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These
natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced
Diet / Feeding: Refer to "
Feeding Birds " web page for general
details on the feeding of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for
In the wild they usually do not feed on
the ground. Some aviary birds have changed this behaviour and
happily feed from feeders on the ground. Many breeders have the
food trays about 1 metre (3 - 3.5 feet) above the floor level. Native foods include seeds of the
Acacia, Eucalypt and the introduced Pine species.
and cones of these trees and other suitable native plants should be
offered to the birds along with branches and fruiting bodies of the
cotoneaster and hawthorn bushes (Crataegus monogyna). This will provide them with hours
of physical activity and mental stimulation as well as a varied diet.
This physical activity is necessary to help prevent bad habits such as
feather plucking which is common in Gang Gangs. Surplus berries
from many of these shrubs can be harvested and frozen for use later as
In the wild the Gang Gang cockatoo will eat grubs,
caterpillars, moth larvae, saw fly grubs, beetle larvae and other
insects as they occur during the season. In an aviary the birds
can be offered insects such as the larvae, pupa and beetle stages of the
mealworm, crickets, commercially reared cockroaches as well as the
insects that can be found in local trees and gardens. Some
breeders feed meat to their birds to supplement the protein requirements
of the birds during the breeding season.
Aviary diet should include canary seed,
corn, hulled oats, millets, milo, and wheat but restrict the amount
of Sunflower and safflower seed.
Other foods can include nuts such as almonds
a variety of vegetables such as corn, peas, soaked mung beans and leafy
greens such as silverbeet. Apple is a favourite fruit. Bread, plain Madeira
cake, and dry dog food can be offered. Many will eat insects such as grubs and
mealworms as well as commercially raised mice.
Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions
are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's
preferences and the birds preferences. Parent bird's preferences can
also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the
bird was hatched and reared. If space allows, offering a choice of
sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations
within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.
Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in
it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one
for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box,
the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be
removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is
cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites,
parasites and pathogens.
A solid log is the preferred nest for
- Nesting months:
October to January.
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 600 - 1200 mm (or approx. 24 - 48 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 200 - 275 mm. (or approx. 8 - 11
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 - 275
mm square (or approx. 8 - 11 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 75 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
100- 125 mm
(or approx 4 - 5 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height
of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not
too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the
- Angle of log or nest box = Log or nest box can be
vertical or on an angle of up to 45 degrees. Log is generally hung in a
vertical or near vertical position. Success has been achieved with logs without a
lid; the birds using the open top end as the nest entrance. Rosemary
Low recommends a log size of 600mm long and 200 - 230mm internal
- Nesting log / nest-box material:
Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable
- Who incubates the egg/s:
/ cock / both share.
Many pairs of Gang Gangs are intolerant of nest
inspections often resulting in the death of the young.
Some breeders have had success with the
logs being placed vertically on the floor of the aviary.
nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the
box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance
hole/opening about 100 - 150mm (about 4 -6 inches) from the top. Many
species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to
squeeze through. Some parrot breeders do not place a "top" or lid on the
larger nest log or box and allow the birds to enter the nest via the top
More details on
parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of
parrot nestbox/log photos
can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos" in
the navigation bars.
Breeding: Egg Colour
White. Clutch/s per year 1. Eggs per
nest 2, sometimes 3. Incubation
approx. 25 - 28 days. Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks.
Independent approx. = often fed by the parents for
2 - 3 months after they leave the nest.
Very few young are bred each year.
Most pairs do not breed regularly. May take 4 or more years before
a Gang Gang cockatoo will breed successfully. Most pairs will only
produce 2 young in a good year.
Parent birds can be aggressive to the
owner/s during the breeding season.
Best results are achieved from
pairs that are allowed to "pair up" at a young age.
It can be difficult
to change a bonded bird's mate. If a bird looses its mate, it may take
several years for the bird to establish a new successful pair bonding
and recommence breeding.
Artificial incubation and hand
rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is
too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.
Health Issues: Refer to "Avian
Health Issues" web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control
and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are
considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on
this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing
at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 59 No. 2 Feb 2005 Page 45-46.
- A/A Vol 57 No 7. Jul 2003 Page145-148.
- A/A Vol 54 No. 9 Sept 2000 Page 201-204 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 46 No. 11 Nov 1992 Page 266-272
- A/A Vol 46 No. 1 Jan 1992 Page 7-15
- A/A Vol 57 No 7. Page145-148
- A/A Vol 36 No. 6 Jun 1982 Page 121-127 (Inc photo
- A/A Vol 33 No. 2 Feb 1979 Page 24-27 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 32 No. 9 Sept 1978 Page 131-132
- A/A Vol 9 No 2 Feb 1955 Page 19.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 15 Issue 3. Jun-Jul 2002 Page 135-138 ( R Low).
- ABK Vol 14 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2001 Page 548-551
- ABK Vol 9 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1996 Page 164-168 (Part2)
- ABK Vol 9 Issue 3. Jun-July 1996 Page 130-134
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 10. Aug-Sept1989 Page 374-375
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