Male Palm Cockatoos Play Drums to Attract Mates

Palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) not usually play a drums, they qualification a sticks too, according to new investigate from scientists in Australia.

Male palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) pitter-patter on a vale tree with a made ‘drumstick.’ Image credit: Christina Zdenek.

Male palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) pitter-patter on a vale tree with a made ‘drumstick.’ Image credit: Christina Zdenek.

The palm cockatoo is a vast smoky-grey or black parrot found in Australia and New Guinea.

It is a largest of all parrots, trimming from 49 to 68 cm in height. It weighs 500 g to 1.1 kg, with females trimming from 500 to 950 g and males trimming from 540 g to 1.1 kg.

Also famous as a Cape York cockatoo, a good palm cockatoo, a black macaw, a goliath cockatoo or a good black cockatoo, a palm cockatoo is one of a loudest parrot species, creation shrill whistling calls.

Another approach palm cockatoos promulgate is by stomping noisily on a perch. They use mutated sticks or seedpods to strike a vale tree prong and emanate a shrill sound that can be listened adult to 100 m away.

The new findings, published in a biography Science Advances, uncover that a palm cockatoo pitter-patter shares a ‘key basics of tellurian instrumental music, including make of a sound tool, opening in a unchanging context, unchanging kick production, steady components, and particular styles.’

“While songbirds and whales can belt out a low-pitched tune, few class commend a beat,” pronounced lead author Rob Heinsohn, highbrow during a Fenner School of Environment and Society during a Australian National University.

“But a bashful and fugitive palm cockatoo, iconic to Cape York Peninsula in distant North Queensland, Australia, plays a drums and crafts a sticks.”

According to a researchers, a palm cockatoo pitter-patter is partial of a class courtship protocol that involves a lot of calls and movements to attract a mate.

“The vast smoky-grey parrots conform thick sticks from branches, hold them with their feet and crash them on trunks and tree hollows, all a while displaying to females,” Prof. Heinsohn said.

“The topping on a cake is that a taps are roughly ideally spaced over really prolonged sequences, only like a tellurian drummer would do when holding a unchanging beat.”

He pronounced a palm cockatoo’s ability to drum has been famous for a prolonged time though this is a initial investigate to secure a footage to investigate it.

“This was solemnly acquired over a 7 year investigate by patiently stalking a birds by a rainforest with a video camera.”

The group available outspoken and pitter-patter displays by 18 furious masculine palm cockatoos in Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park and surrounding aboriginal freehold lands on Cape York Peninsula.

“Over 131 pitter-patter sequences constructed by 18 males, a beats occurred during nonrandom, unchanging intervals, nonetheless particular males differed significantly in a figure parameters describing a placement of their kick patterns, indicating particular pitter-patter styles,” a scientists said.

“Some males were consistently fast, some were slow, while others desired a small develop during a beginning,” Prof. Heinsohn said.

“Such particular styles competence concede other birds to commend who it is pitter-patter from a prolonged approach away.”


Robert Heinsohn et al. 2017. Tool-assisted rhythmic pitter-patter in palm cockatoos shares pivotal elements of tellurian instrumental music. Science Advances 3 (6): e1602399; doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1602399