Take a good look at the Bare Eyed Cockatoo!

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Cacatua sanguinea Australia c

The Blood Stained Bird of Australia

I was really excited to write this animal of the week blog on the Bare Eyed Cockatoo, because these beautiful species are some that we maintain here in the Critter Squad Wildlife Defenders! zoo. When you are in the bird facility, the most minor interactions with the Bare Eyed Cockatoos will tell you they are very smart – like pretty much all cockatoo species. These guys are beautiful white birds who get their name “Bare Eyed Cockatoo” from the blueish featherless area around their eyes. A helpful identifying mark is the cute little crest on top of their heads. Bare Eyed Cockatoos are social birds that live in flocks and tend to mate for life.

Why does the Bare Eyed Cockatoo have so many names?

In the field of biology there are two types of names that we use for a species. These are the scientific name and the common name.  The scientific name is in latin and referred to as binomial nomenclature. This is a detailed system of naming animals with special classifications. The Bare Eyed Cockatoos scientific name is Cacatua sanguinea.  Scientific names are always in italics and have at least two parts.  Common names are a little bit different and these are made by locals, hobbyists, zoo keepers, collectors, and anyone else who may be directly involved with these animals.  These names are usually based off ways we can easily identify them and others have specific background. The Bare Eyed Cockatoo has many different common names, including the Little Corella, Blue Eyed Cockatoo, Blood Stained Cockatoo, the Short Billed Corella and the Little Corella.  Native groups in Australia refer to the bird as the “birdirra” and after doing research I found a few more names as well.

What is the lifespan of a  Bare Eyed Cockatoos?

The majority of cockatoo species are very long lived. There seems to be a few different opinions on the life span of Bare Eyed Cockatoos, but the general consensus is about 40-60 years with one or two sources saying they have seen individuals live longer than 60 years. That is quite a long life for the little birdie.

Where do Bare Eyed Cockatoos Live?

Bare Eyed Cockatoos are found widespread throughout Eastern and Northern Australia and found in parts of New Guinea. Bare Eyed Cockatoos are very diverse, capable of living in areas populated by humans as well, and have even been able to successfully live on farms. There are many locations where Bare Eyed Cockatoos are considered pests and cause damage to crops and property.

Are Bare Eyed Cockatoos Dangerous?

When out in the field I have met many people who are quite afraid of birds.  People do not understand birds and tend to get a little freaked out when/if they fly.  A very common question asked by people is if the animal they are looking at is dangerous. Bare Eyed Cockatoos and other cockatoo species have very strong beaks and when coming up close to a cockatoo or when holding a cockatoo, they can definitely bite hard and cause some damage or bruising to the skin.  If the cockatoo is able to bite a certain area then they may require some stitches to repair the skin. Maybe that’s how they got the name Blood Stained Cockatoo? Altogether, the Bare Eyed Cockatoos are harmless and not a danger to humans unless handled.

We hope you enjoyed the blog on the Bare Eyed Cockatoo. Be sure to head to our Kids’ Zone to learn more about many other exciting animals!

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