Gang Gang Cockatoos

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Gang Gang Cockatoos
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 16:05:38 +1000
g'day all,
Halina Steele enquired whether Gang-gangs only eat with their left foot.
Lynda Chambers was maintaining records of this characteristic for the parrot family
Check out her Web Page ..
"Handedness in Parrots Survey"
Follows is a copy from that page.
"Annual Report 1995/1996
This is a much condensed version of the Annual Report which appears in VORG Notes 31(1):13-16. See VORG Notes 30(1) for a description of the project.

33 Species of parrots were recorded using their foot to hold an object. These included 8 species of cockatoo, 5 lorikeet species, and 4 rosella species. Also included were observations of African Lovebirds and Red-fronted Kakarikis. The survey returns included in this report contained a nice spread of both wild and captive birds (one of the aims of the study is to determine if captivity affects footedness).

At present there is still not enough data to draw any strong conclusions, however, some interesting information has appeared.
So far, Gang-gang Cockatoos and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos appear to be left-footed and Eastern Rosellas, Mallee Ringnecks and Red-fronted Kakarikis appear to be right-footed species.
In fact all six Gang-gang Cockatoos surveyed used only their left foot. Individual preferences also appeared.
For example, of the four Cockatiels surveyed two appeared to be left-footed and two right-footed. Similar results were found for Crimson Rosellas.

My own observations are that Sulphur-crested Parrots always pick up their food with their Left foot but our local Cloncurry Parrot (Ringneck) always uses its Right Foot.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
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