Red-vented Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia)

Red-vented Cockatoo

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Cacatuidae | [latin] Cacatua haematuropygia | [authority] Muller, 1776 | [UK] Red-vented Cockatoo | [FR] Cacatoes des Philippines | [DE] Rotsteisskakadu | [ES] Cacatua Filipina | [NL] Filippijnse Kaketoe | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Cacatua haematuropygia OR Philippines


Cacatua is a genus of cockatoos found from the Philippines and Wallacea east to the Solomon Islands and south to Australia. They have a primarily white plumage (in some species tinged pinkish or yellow), an expressive crest, and a black (subgenus Cacatua) or pale (subgenus Licmetis) bill. Two major subdivisions can be recognized within Cacatua. One group is characterized by the possession of heavy bills, up curving coloured crests and round wings (alba, galerita, leadbeateri, moluccensis, ophthalmica, sulphurea); within this group leadbeateri and alba have substantially smaller bills than the other species but are alike in the shapes of the crests and wings. The other subdivision has smaller bills, short uncoloured crests and more slender wings (ducorpsi, goffini, haematuropygia, pastinator, roseicapilla, tenuirostris). Large individuals of the larger species (e.g. pastinator) approach and possibly slightly overlap smaller examples of leadbeateri and alba in bill size. Today several species from this genus are considered threatened due to a combination of habitat loss and capture for the wild bird trade, with the Blue-eyed Cockatoo, Moluccan Cockatoo and Umbrella Cockatoo considered Vulnerable, the Red-vented Cockatoo considered Endangered, and the Yellow-crested Cockatoo considered Critically Endangered.

Physical charateristics

Small white cockatoo with red and yellow beneath tail. Adults have short erectile crest, pinkish-washed ear-coverts and lores, red undertail-coverts tipped and shafted white and a deep yellow suffusion beneath wings and tail. Male has black-brown iris, female has red-tinted iris. Juvenile initially has greyer iris, later brownish. Australian corellas and Solomons Cockatoo C. ducorpsii (not in range), lack white-tipped red undertail-coverts. Gathers on offshore islands when, at a distance, easily mistaken for Pied Imperial-pigeon Ducula bicolor

Listen to the sound of Red-vented Cockatoo

[audio: Cockatoo.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 30 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 26 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 63 days fledging max.: 70 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Oriental Region : Cacatua haematuropygia is endemic to the Philippines. In 1950, it was common throughout but a rapid decline has left a population of c.1,000 birds. Of these, there are 250-700 on Palawan and its satellite islands, “several hundred” or 100-200 on Tawitawi, it is possibly extinct on Mindanao, and there are fewer than twenty individuals in the Polillo group of islands and Samar respectively.


It appears to be restricted to lowland primary and/or secondary forest predominantly below 50 m, in or adjacent to riverine or coastal areas with mangroves. It breeds from July to December and outside the breeding season it frequents both corn- and rice-fields.


The Red-vented cockatoo breeds from February to June, when one to three eggs are laid in a nest on the limb of a tree. The eggs are incubated for around 28 days and the chicks remain in the nest for nine to ten weeks after hatching.

Feeding habits

It is often seen in pairs or in small groups of around eight individuals, but at times up to 30 may congregate to feed. The diet consists of seeds, fruits, nuts and berries, and they are known to raid maize and corn crops in nearby farmland

Video Red-vented Cockatoo


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it has suffered an extremely rapid population reduction owing to extensive loss of its lowland habitats and trapping for the cagebird trade.
On Palawan, Polillo and Samar, trapping is particularly serious, and the high price fetched per bird (c.US$160 in Manila in 1997 and US$300 in 2006) means that chicks are taken from virtually every accessible nest. High numbers were traded (legally) internationally in the 1980s (e.g. 422 in 1983). Poaching of nestlings and snares possibly intended for roosting cockatoos have also been noted during recent conservation work on Pandanan Island. During nest monitoring on Pandanan, illegal tree cutting was also documented. Lowland deforestation and mangrove destruction have been extensive throughout its range, and have contributed significantly to its decline. It is also persecuted as a crop-pest and hunted for food. Typhoons are a threat, at least in already declining populations. Very dry breeding seasons may lead to complete breeding failure. The release of captive birds may introduce disease into the wild population. Introduced predators represent a threat at many potential release sites
Red-vented Cockatoo status Critically Endangered


It depends on seasonally fluctuating food resources and is partially nomadic. Birds fly from the mainland to offshore islands as far as eight kilometres away from the mainland to roost and breed.

Distribution map

Red-vented Cockatoo distribution range map

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