Mystery bird

To: 'COG Chatline' <>
Subject: Mystery bird
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:36:50 +0000

The odd bird in Murray’s photo could be an escaper (something that has escaped) or releasee (something that has been released) from some aviary bred stock. That is not overly relevant whether it is that or of wild origins. It could be a member of a population from some of the pacific islands e.g. Citron-crested ssp. of Indonesian Yellow-crested Cockatoo, that has been transported by some person to Canberra from there. Maybe taken here as a pet and later released. How likely is that? But I reckon just on this appearance, it would most likely be a hybrid. A hybrid of S-c C and Galah or S-c C & Major Mitchell Cockatoo is most likely (and supported by the smaller size). I have seen a very similar bird at Batemans Bay some years ago, as in very like a S-c C but extensively and irregularly apricot coloured. I might even have mentioned it on this chat line......Hybrids can have mix of or intermediate features or sometimes unexpected features.


I don’t know about Mark’s bird. Maybe just something way out to the end of the normal distribution...........




From: Murray DELAHOY [
Sent: Monday, 20 March, 2017 9:38 AM
To: Mark Clayton
Cc: COG Chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Mystery bird


Hi Mark,


Can’t help with Mark’s bird but flocks of cockatoos/corellas seem to sometimes harbour interesting interlopers.


We’ve had a couple of recent visits from an “orange crested” cockatoo (I believe Citron-crested ssp. of Indonesian Yellow-crested Cockatoo) that is keeping company with a flock of S-c cockatoos and corellas in the North Canberra area. It’s slightly smaller than a sulphur-crested but bigger than a galah.  We’ve been seeing this bird occasionally for about five years.  From previous discussion on the chat-line I gather it is an escapee, but it seems to be surviving pretty well in the wilds of Canberra.




Kind regards,

Murray Delahoy


On 20 Mar 2017, at 8:45 am, Mark Clayton <> wrote:


It is an extremely rare event, if ever in Australia, when I am not sure as to the species of bird that I am looking at. This has just happened in my backyard in Kaleen. I sometimes throw a bit of birdseed out for the Crested Pigeons (an ANU student working on the species colour banded many in my yard a couple of years ago). Invariably this also brings in a few Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Little Corellas – on two occasions recently also a Long-billed Corella – but the bird that joined the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos this morning has me flummoxed! Superficially it is a S-c Cocky but bigger, especially around the head area (side by side with a S-c C) and looked similar to a White-crested Cockatoo Cacatua alba of the Moluccas but which is slightly smaller, appears not to have a yellow crest but has yellow blotches on the head and upper chest, and a very limited amount of yellow on the underwing. It also has VERY large feet and really looks like a S-c C on steroids. I can’t think of any other species that it can be. The Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea of Indonesia/Lesser Sundas  is smaller than the S-c C, and I don’t think a hybrid with either of the corellas would be this large.


Anyone care to comment?




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