pink cockatoos

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di.anneslegacy's picture
pink cockatoos

I wonder if anyone can help with these two cockatoos that I photographed last week.  At first look I thought they had been in the dirt, but on closer inspection the colour is definitely a dusty pink.  A few evenings later I saw one of them again and photographed it with another "ordinary" cockatoo and you can see the colour is definitely different.  They have yellow under their wings and the yellow crest. 

Has anyone else seen cockatoos this colour.

Diane Cutting - Canberra

Woko's picture

HI Diane. I'm afraid I can't see any pink on these sulphur-crested cockatoos.

Qyn's picture

Some cockatoos take dirt baths in red soil and that can stain the feathers temporarily but as Woko said these are sulphur-crested cockatoos.

"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

Holly's picture

I have seen photos of cockies that have brushed against herbicide that is used for spraying weeds (that they put a pink dye into). I can't pick up much colour in these guys but it may be wearing off.

al's picture


Hi Diane,

I can certainly see the pink in the feathers

but I can't help you with an explanation.

On my recent trip from Darwin to Perth,

I stopped off at the Argyle Diamond Mine in WA,

where I noticed a very dark looking Little Corella in a tree.

I pointed it out to one of the aboriginal security guards,

the tall guy with his back to the camera.

I asked him why that normally white looking Little Corella was so dark.

He said "Mate, he was born like that. He's one of our mob."

I hope this brings a bit of a smile to your face,

as you bring so many smiles to sick kid's faces at the hospital.........

Oh! and at the mine, they didn't give us any free samples, either.


Araminta's picture

That story brings smiles and tears to my face at the same time. I have many aboriginal friends, when ever I ask them anything , they come up with those kind of responses. First you think nothing of them, then you think how wise and full of knowledge they are, then my friends start to laugh , and they tell me, got you, you fell for that one. So, in the end I never know , is this widom or are they making fun of me?

Nice story. I have seen many pink cockatoos, next time I see some, I will take a photo, I think they are common.(it's all that white fella food they eat, makes them look pink)


di.anneslegacy's picture

Thank you for all your responses.  I was very taken with these two as I saw them from a far distance and I have looked back on the photos I took that evening and it is still striking to me the difference in the colour.   We live in the "bush capital" so I have taken many photos of the sulphur crested and this was so different. 

I wonder if any one is interested in photos of a fight between 3 red wattle birds.  I will post some of them - the fight went on for about 8 minutes and I thought one of them was going to be killed - of course I kept snapping away and got a number of wonderful shots and at the end they all flew away - am sure it was territorial as it was around September.


Araminta's picture

I am, so will be others. Come on, put the up.


cairogirl's picture

Hello, Diane, 

It is 7 years since you posted this message so you may not receive this reply, but hopefully you will! I Just spotted a white cockatoo with pink feathers on my baclcony in Hornsby, Sydney, this morning. At first I thought it had rubbed its back under something reddish like a shed overhang, but it was clear that only certain feathers were pink and that the whole feather was pink. It was a male accompanied by a female (who was completely white); they groomed each other and then went off to eat grass seeds as a pair on the footpath. 

So you weren't imagining it. Interesting that in your photo the birds are a pair, too.


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