Gang-Gang Cockatoo

Author: Dr. Rob Marshall –

In the wild, the Gang Gang Cockatoo is found along the eastern coast of Australia, inhabiting dense mountain forests and open woodland regions.

Chart provided by Dr. Rob Marshall –
Gang Gang Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus lathami
Size: 40cm in length
Talking Ability: Good, with crackling voice | Noise Level: High
Lifespan: Up to 50 years
Breeding Ability: Difficult to breed
Courtship Display: Male spreads wings, raises head and calls female to entrance of nest.
Number of Eggs: 2-3 eggs | Incubation: 23-25 days
Compatibility with other species: Not recommended
Feeding: Seed and Fruit Eaters, especially the Oak and Casuarina nuts.
Sexing: Males have striking red heads, whilst that of the female is grey

They are usually seen in pairs, family parties or small groups, a social characteristic that makes this bird highly demanding as a pet.

Gang Gang Cockatoos form strong pair bonds with their owner and require a great deal of training and care to avoid the occurrence of behavioral problems.

Feather picking as a result of boredom is a common condition seen in Gang Gangs that are deprived of the attention they require.

Gangs also love to chew things and should be provided with stimulus to keep them interested and entertained (please refer to “Foraging.” Gang Gangs are not considered to be a good pet bird due to their boredom related behavioural problems.

Distribution and Habitat:

The Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum, is found in the cooler and wetter forests and woodlands of Australia, particularly alpine bushland.

It ranges throughout south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. Like all cockatoos, Gang-gangs nest in hollow trees.

Loss of older, hollow-bearing trees and loss of feeding habitat across south-eastern Australia through land clearing has led to a significant reduction in the numbers of this cockatoo in recent years.

Gang Gang Distribution Map


Gang-gang cockatoos are one of the more distinctive and charismatic members of Australia’s avifauna.

These birds are primarily slate-grey, with the males easily identified by their scarlet head and wispy crest, while females have a grey head and crest and feathers edged with salmon pink on the underbelly.

They range in length from 32 to 37 cm, with a wingspan of 62 to 76 cm.

The call has been likened to a creaking gate or cork being pulled from a bottle.

Gang Gang Female
Female left - male right
Female Gang Gang Cockatoo


Genus: English: Helmed Cockatoos … Dutch: Helmkakatoes … German: Helmkakadus … French: Cacatoès à tête rouge

Species: Scientific: Callocephalon fimbriatum … English: Gang-Gang Cockato … Dutch: Helmkakatoe, Roodkopkakatoe …German: Helmkakadu, Rotkopfkakadu … French: Cacatoès à tête rouge … CITES II – Endangered Species

Distribution: South-eastern Australia, King Island, northern Tasmania

Gang-gang Cockatoo Couple
Gang Gang Cockatoos: Female on top - Male hanging down
Gang Gang Cockatoo

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Photo of author

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