Western Long billed Corella
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Long billed Corella
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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name:  Cacatua pastinator
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  2.  Cacatua pastinator pastinator,  Cacatua pastinator derbyi
  • Origin / Distribution:  2 populations in the south-western Western Australia
  • Habitat In Wild:  Originally forested and woodland areas and the surrounding secondary vegetation.  Has adapted well to grain and cereal growing areas and farming areas.  Was originally destroyed as a pest in many farming areas.
  • Status In Wild: Rare.  Cacatua pastinator pastinator may be endangered.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Rare.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  ?
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  ?
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  Surgical sexing is recommended.
  • Colour mutations:  No
  • Availability: Rarely bred.
  • Temperament: Active energetic birds.  Can be noisy.  May roll onto their back on the ground and play with toys or other objects found in their aviary.  They should be provided with bird safe toys to play with and entertain themselves.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $200 = Cacatua pastinator derbyi.
  • Description Of Adults:  Cacatua pastinator pastinator (Cacatua pastinator derbyi is slightly smaller than the nominate sub-species described below).
  1. Length: Approx 450 mm (or approx 20 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx 700 - 800 gms (or approx 25 - 28 ozs)

Cacatua pastinator derbyi is the sub-species held in Australian aviaries.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

An aviary of 4 to 5 metres long will allow these birds to be able to get adequate exercise.  Minimum length should be about 3 metres (10 feet).  The aviary should be about 1.2 to 1.5 metres wide and about 2.1 metres high.  Heavy gauge wire is necessary, preferably galvanized weldmesh.

Should be housed as one pair per aviary.  The Western Corella is usually intolerant of other birds in an aviary.  If they are housed with other birds, they may harm the other birds or even kill them.  Double wiring between adjoining aviaries is essential.  They love to bathe.

They can be housed and bred in a suspended cage.  For best long term breeding results, it is best to allow birds that have been confined to a suspended cage during the breeding season access to an aviary during the non-breeding season.  A suspended cage should be about 1 metre wide and 1 metre high and 2 to 3 metres long.

Suitable non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

In the wild these birds forage for food on the ground.  The Western Corella has a long pointed bill adapted for digging into the ground to get to bulbs and roots.  Also used to dig in cereal and grain crops.  Wheat is consumed when available.  Insects form part of the natural diet.

Native foods include seeds of the Acacia, Eucalypt and the introduced Pine species along with the seeds of grasses and other plants. Branches, seeds and cones of these trees and other suitable native plants should be offered to the birds along with branches and fruiting bodies of the cotoneaster and hawthorn bushes.  This will provide them with hours of physical activity and mental stimulation as well as a varied diet.

Aviary diet includes canary seed, corn, hulled oats, millet, milo, and wheat.  Aviary diet should restrict the amount of Sunflower and safflower seed. 

Other foods can include apple, orange, almonds, peanuts, vegetables such as broccoli, corn, peas and silverbeet.  Plain Madeira cake, and seeding grasses.  Many will eat insects such as grubs and mealworms.  Dry dog food can be offered.

Commercial Parrot pellets can make up part of a balanced diet.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.  Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months:
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 600 - 800 mm (or approx. 24 - 32 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. - mm. (or approx. - inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. - mm square (or approx. - inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. ? mm (or approx. ? inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.
    • Angle of log or nest box = Log or nest box can be vertical or on an angle of up to 45 degrees.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year = usually 1.  Eggs per nest  2 - 3.  Incubation approx.  24 days.  Fledge approx.  6 - 8 weeks.  Independent approx. another 4 weeks but best to leave with parent birds till  8 - 10 weeks.

Cacatua pastinator derbyi is the sub-species held in Australian aviaries.  Youngsters in the wild have a poor survival rate and few make it to breeding age.  Cacatua pastinator pastinator is subject to a controlled captive breeding program, Species Management Plan, to increase their numbers in captivity and to learn more about its specific husbandry requirements in captivity.

Both parents look after the young.  Generally safe to leave the young with the parent birds, however if any aggression is shown, the young should be immediately removed to another aviary.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 49 No. 6 Jun 1995 Page 137-140 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 45 No. 3 Mar 1991 Page 55-57
  • A/A Vol 36 No. 6 Jun 1982 Page 127-128 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 9 Sept 1975 Page 132-134 (Inc photo)
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol  7 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1994 Page 186-188
  • ABK Vol  4 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1991 Page 476-479

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