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Bare Eyed Cockatoo

Little Corella

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Little Corella
In Sydney, Australia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Cacatuoidea
Family: Cacatuidae
Subfamily: Cacatuinae
Tribe: Cacatuini
Genus: Cacatua
Subgenus: Licmetis
Species: C. sanguinea
Binomial name
Cacatua sanguinea Gould , 1843
Combined Australian range of the Little and Western Corellas (in red).

The Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), also known as the Bare-eyed Cockatoo, Blood-stained Cockatoo, Short-billed Corella, Little Cockatoo and Blue-eyed Cockatoo, is a white cockatoo native to Australia and southern New Guinea.[2] It was known as Birdirra among the Yindjibarndi people of the central and western Pilbara. They would keep them as pets, or traditionally cook and eat them. The downy feathers are used in traditional ceremonies and dances where they adorn head and armbands.[3]


The species was originally described by English ornithologist John Gould in 1843.[1] There are four subspecies as follows:[2]

  • C. s. sanguinea
  • C. s. normantoni
  • C. s. transfreta
  • C. s. gymnopis


In Australia

The Little Corella is a small white cockatoo growing to 35–41 cm (14–16 in) in length and weighs 370–630 g (13–22 oz), with a mean weight of 525 g (1.157 lb).[4][5] It is similar in appearance to both the Long-billed Corella and the Western Corella, but the Little Corella is smaller, and unlike either of those species, it has upper and lower mandibles are of similar length. It is easily distinguished from the Long-billed Corella by the lack of an orange throat bar.[6] C. s. normantoni and C. s. normantoni are a little smaller than the nominate form.[2] C. s. normantoni is lightly brownish on the underside of flight and tail feathers.[2] C. s. gymnopis has darker blue eye-rings, more strongly marked pink lores and a yellow wash to the lower-ear coverts.[2] Females are slightly smaller than males in weight, wing length, culmen size, tarsus length, tail length and eye ring diameter.[7]

Distribution and Habitat[edit]

The nominate form, C. s. sanguinea is found in Northern Australia. C. s. normantoni is found on the Western Cape York Peninsula.[2] C. s. transfreta is found in New Guinea.[2] C. s. gymnopis is found in Central, Eastern, and South-eastern Australia.[2] It is so common that it has become something of a pest throughout much of Australia, and can be destructive to the trees in which it perches, by chewing the bark off smaller twigs.


It congregates in flocks of up to several thousand birds, which often include many Galahs. The bird generally roosts in trees overnight, and flies off to feed in the early morning and late afternoon with an almost deafening screeching.


The call consists of high pitched notes and screeches somewhat similar to the Sulfur-crested Cockatoo.


Breeding occurs August to October in the northern parts of its range, and May to October in the southern areas.[6] The nest is usually in a tree hollow, cliff cavity or termite mound.[6]


Little Corellas like to feed on lawns and ovals, searching for seeds in the grass. It bends down and pecks the seed, breaks the stem and swallows the seed. It mostly feeds on the ground, eating seeds including cereal crops such as wheat and barley.


When Little Corellas play, they become very noisy. They have conversations with each other, flies and also shows off. Little Corellas show off by hanging themselves upside-down with their feet, beaks or both. One bird was seen hanging upside-down on two wires with its feet and beak, letting its feet go and climbing up. Then it does it all over again the right way up and upside-down in

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