Gang-gang Cockatoo

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Habitat: Forest, Woodland, Urban


During summer, the Gang-gang Cockatoo is found in tall mountain forests and woodlands, with dense shrubby understoreys. In winter, Gang-gangs will move to lower altitudes into drier, more open forests and woodlands.


The Gang-gang undergoes seasonal altitudinal migration from high forests to lower areas during winter, and is able to use exotic plants as food in urban areas. They are often seen in suburban backyards during these times, where they can be seen in trees eating fruits and seeds. Gang-gang Cockatoos almost always use their left foot to hold food when eating.



Gang-gang Cockatoos feed mainly on seeds of native and introduced trees and shrubs, with a preference for eucalypts, wattles and introduced hawthorns. They will also eat berries, fruits, nuts, and insects and their larvae. They are mainly arboreal (found in trees), coming to the ground only to drink and to forage among fallen fruits or pine cones. Gang-gang Cockatoos feed in flocks of up to 60 birds outside the breeding season; they feed in pairs or small family groups during the breeding season.


Gang-gang Cockatoos form close, monogamous pairs. The female chooses a nest hollow in a suitable tree and both sexes prepare the nest for egg-laying, lining it with wood chips and dust by chewing at the sides of the hollow. Their clutch size is usually 2 eggs (sometimes 1 or 3 eggs). Both sexes incubate the eggs for 30 days and care for the young with the nestling period being 56 days. Parents feed their young for a further four to six weeks after fledging and family groups will be seen feeding together during the breeding season.

In some cases, ‘crèches’ will be formed – where several pairs have nested close together, and their young will roost together in the same tree while their parents are foraging. Breeding season is from October to January.