The bare-eyed cockatoo, also known as the little corella, is an Australian bird commonly kept as a pet. The scientific name for the bird is Cacatua sanguinea which means "blood-stained cockatoo." This relates to the pink markings found between the eyes and beak that resemble blood stains. It is a social bird that lives in large flocks which makes it a suitable pet that bonds with its owners.
The bare-eyed cockatoo is a medium-sized bird that grows to around 16 inches in length and up to one pound in weight. It has a white plumage all over its body with bare skin patches around the eyes that are fleshy and light blue in color. It has a sharp crushing beak, the top part of which has a pointed tip that overlaps the lower part. The underside of the wings and tail are a slight sulphur yellow color. Males and females are identical in appearance; adolescent birds look like smaller versions of the adults.
Habitat and Range
The bird has a widespread home range that includes most of eastern Australia as well as the northwest and extreme west of the country. It is also found in areas of southern New Guinea. It favors open area habitats such as grasslands found near a water source such as rivers and lakes. The birds can be found in most habitat types within their range but remain near food sources during the breeding season.
Diet and Predators
The birds feed in large flocks while on the ground, foraging for seeds and grains as well as plant bulbs and various fruits that fall from the trees. Because grains make up a large part of the birds' diet they are considered pests in areas of agriculture. Large flocks can do considerable damage to farmers' crops. Because of this, farmers in some areas kill the birds in great numbers. Natural threats to the birds include domestic pets, snakes and birds of prey.
The birds form lifelong breeding pairs within the flock and will breed dependent on long periods of rainfall. This can be changeable throughout the bird's range, so breeding can take place year-round as long as food is plentiful. Both parents help to build a nest inside a suitable tree hollow in which the female lays two to four eggs. The parents share the incubation and feeding duties. The eggs take up to 26 days to hatch.