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Asia Hong Kong Species Fact File

Yellow-crested Cockatoo – Hong Kong Wildlife | 小葵花鳳頭鸚鵡 – 香港野生動物

I would be in and around the Mid-levels almost every day when I’m in Hong Kong. You can easily find these beautiful white parrots in there. But did you know that they were rarer than the Black-faced spoonbills you always heard of?

In Hong Kong, they are commonly seen in Mid-levels, Central, Wan Chai, Tai Hang, and nearby in Hong Kong Island, particularly around Hong Kong Park.

However, this species is not that common back home. Its populations are dramatically declined in its natural range. Right, it is not a native species of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is second home to the introduced, critically endangered Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea). This species is native to Indonesia. A total of fewer than 2,000 are left in the world. 200 of them live in Hong Kong.

The Yellow-crested cockatoo is originally from East Timor, Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas of Indonesia. It has become an introduced species of Hong Kong for at least 80 years.

When did they first come to Hong Kong?
This species has a long history of being pets. There are records of Yellow-crested cockatoos entering Hong Kong as pets as far back as in the 1850s.

How did they establish a wild population?
The most believed story is that Hong Kong Governor Sir Mark Aitchison Young released the Government House’s entire bird collection, including a large number of this species, hours before surrendering Hong Kong to Japanese troops in December 1941.

There are now around 200 of them in Hong Kong – that is already more than 10% of its entire population in the world which keeps declining.

It is also known as the Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo to differentiate from its larger and much more common Australian cousin, the Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).

Cacatua sulphurea (Gmelin, 1788)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae
Genus: Cacatua
Subgenus: Cacatua
Species: sulphurea

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

小葵花鳳頭鸚鵡, 橘冠葵花鳳頭鸚鵡, 小葵花鸚鵡, 小巴丹鸚鵡, 小巴, 小葵