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Major Mitchell Cockatoo
The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) also known as Leadbeater's Cockatoo or Pink Cockatoo, is a medium-sized cockatoo. It is here placed in its own monotypic genus Lophochroa, though to include it in Cacatua as others do is not wrong as long as the corellas are also included there. With its soft-textured white and salmon-pink plumage and large, bright red and yellow crest, it is generally recognised as the most beautiful of all cockatoos. It is named in honour of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, who wrote "Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-coloured wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region".
The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo is restricted to arid and semi-arid inland areas of Australia. Unlike the Galah, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo has declined rather than increased as a result of man-made changes to the arid interior of Australia. Where Galahs readily occupy cleared and part-cleared land, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo requires extensive woodlands, particularly favouring Callitris, Allocasuarina and Eucalyptus. In contrast to other cockatoos, Major Mitchell pairs will not nest close to one another; in consequence, they cannot tolerate fragmented, partly cleared habitats, and their range is contracting.
In the Mallee region of Victoria where the Galah and Major Mitchell's Cockatoo can be found to be nesting in the same area, there has been on occasion where the two species have interbred and produced hybridised offspring.
A healthy diet for a pet Major Mitchell's Cockatoo should consist of high quality pellets, a moderate amount of seed mix, and daily helpings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables. Cockatoos need a balanced diet of equal shares of seeds and vegetables with a small quantity of fruits, nuts, proteins, cooked rice, bean mixture and table food, such as cheese, corn, cereal, pasta, meat etc.
Major Mitchell's cockatoos are strikingly beautiful parrots. Females tend to be more docile than males of this species and therefore tend to make better pets. Major Mitchell's cockatoos are inquisitive and will explore everything in the house, and therefore need to be given safe opportunities to explore, play and chew. Like most cockatoo species, Major Mitchell's cockatoos demand a lot of attention and they let their owners know it. When given structured attention, this species makes a very affectionate pet.