Monday, January 29, 2018

Palm Cockatoo from West Papua's Forest

Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) in Waigeo island
Photo: Charles Roring
Here is the picture of Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) that I saw in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. The bird was eating catappa fruits (beach almond) when I shot it using my Fujifilm HS50EXR. It was quite big with black - greyish feather. The red patch on its cheek was very visible under the morning sunlight. This bird is also called Goliath Cockatoo, or Great Black Cockatoo.
In Indonesia, its name is Kakaktua Raja (meaning King Cockatoo). Birdwatchers can see the bird in mainland New Guinea (West Papua and Papua New Guinea), Maluku islands, northern region of Australia, and other tropical islands in the Pacific.
Palm Cockatoo in Waigeo island
The first time I saw Palm Cockatoo in its natural habitat was in Table Mountain of Manokwari. I was guiding three Russian tourists at that time. Later, I saw the bird again in Tambrauw Mountains when I guided two Belgian tourists. I was walking with them under the canopy of the forest when suddenly this goliath looking bird landed on the branch of the tree above our heads. The Belgian tourist quickly pulled his camera out of his backpack, turned it on and aimed it at the bird. He successfuly made some nice pictures of the Goliath Cockatoo. Seconds later, the bird flew away.
Personally, I have taken pictures of Palm Cockatoo in several different forest areas in West Papua. I like the bird because it is different from other birds. It is more independent. Unlike its relatives the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo that like to fly in groups, Palm Cockatoo likes flying solo exploring the lush green of tropical rainforest. Sometimes there are a couple of the birds feeding on fruits in trees.
One day, I was guiding some European birdwatchers in Klasow valley of Sorong regency. We woke up early in the morning to see Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus). While we were waiting for the Bird of Paradise to come, a Palm Cockatoo landed on the tree trunk where the Twelve-wired BOP like to play. It was staying on that trunk approximately 30 minutes. I had a chance to take a lot of pictures of the birds. Unfortunately, the bird was quite far from us and there was some glare from the rising sun. But it was a very nice moment in my life where I could see Palm Cockatoo for quite long. And the Twelve-wired BOP? He did not come that morning. This was written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Cockatoos and Parrots in West Papua
Birding Walk in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat

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