Palm Cockatoo

Mission Statement

To advance knowledge and conservation of Palm Cockatoos.

About the Project

The Palm Cockatoo project is run by a dynamic group of researchers at The Australian National University dedicated to the biological understanding and important conservation of the iconic Australian Palm Cockatoo. Having started in 2009, we have since grown and continue to work hard to answer key scientific questions and promote the preservation of this spectacular species on Cape York Peninsula, far north Queensland.


Project Action

We climb Palm Cockatoo hollows to check nesting activity, and we measure the dimensions of the hollows. Comparing the characteristics and dimensions of hollows on which were drummed by palmies and those that are not, we can get a clearer understanding of this unique behavior.

Photo by: ACC

We protect specific Palm Cockatoo hollows that are at high risk of being cleared. Road quarries are littered in their habitat along the roads. Knowing the location of these crucial hollows is the first step to preserving this rare resource for Palm Cockatoos.

Photo by: Christina N. Zdenek

Sometimes travel for the search of Palm Cockatoo hollows has to get creative and be resourceful. Going up the Claudie River with Ron the fisherman, our driver.

Photo by: L. Hall

Zdenek and Miles Keighley work together to cover over 15 mega-sites across the Cape York Peninsula region.

Photo by: L. Hall

Christina N. Zdenek converses with locals near her field-site about the unique behaviors of the familiar (to them) Palm Cockatoo.

Photo by: Samantha Travers

A nesting pair of Palm Cockatoos is caught on film by Christina N. Zdenek. Female (left); Male (right).

Photo by: Christina N. Zdenek

Christina N. Zdenek is poised and ready to record Palm Cockatoo behaviour at the nest.

Photo by: Christina N. Zdenek

Christina N. Zdenek uses a 10-metre extendable pole with a camera attached to the top to check the status of Palm Cockatoo nests.

Photo by: Samantha Travers

Archived Publications

Australian Geographic

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The Drummer Bird

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Christina Zdenek and the Quest for Palmies

Elusive palm cockatoos captured on film: A 3-minute video filmed by CNZ for Australian Geographic.