Backyard Buddies
Gang-gang Cockatoo

Photo: FNPW Image Library

Gang-gang Cockatoo

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The Gang-gang Cockatoo is a small cockatoo with the male displaying a very distinctive scarlet head and crest. Like many female birds, the female gang-gang is a rather duller grey colour.

Gang-gang Cockatoos regularly visit backyards and parks in eastern Australia to feed on native and introduced tree and shrub seeds. They prefer eucalypts, wattles and introduced hawthorns and will also eat berries, fruits, nuts and insects and insect larvae. They are especially frequent visitors in Canberra, and as a reward for their loyalty have become the ACT's animal emblem.

Male Gang-gang Cockatoos are easily distinguished by their wispy red crest, which looks like a feather duster. The dark red of their crest and head stands out against their slate grey bodies. This has given Gang-gangs the nicknames Red-headed Cockatoo and Red-crowned Cockatoo.

During the winter, when breeding season is over, Gang-gang Cockatoos can be found in the south-eastern parts of Australia, including Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia.

Gang-gangs spend most of their day feeding in trees, and sometimes also forage on the ground for fallen fruits or pine cones. Their diet is varied and adaptable, and includes native plant seeds, introduced plant seeds, berries, fruits, nuts and insect larvae.

Try to plant some native plants so that Gang-gang Cockatoos have a quick meal close by. Some of their favourite foods are eucalypts and wattles.

Gang-gang Cockatoos love:

But they don't like:

Be a Buddy to Gang-gang Cockatoos

Try to:


Don't be surprised if Gang-gang Cockatoos:

A few more Gang-gang Cockatoos facts

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”Birds, bugs, lizards and penguins are my favourite Backyard Buddies – I like to find, watch and learn about what they do and what I can do to help them.“

Gus – 11 year old Backyard Buddy, NSW

Photo: OEH