How Did the Major Mitchell Cockatoo Get Its Name?

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How Did the Major Mitchell Cockatoo Get Its Name?

By Diane Burroughs

 

The Major Mitchell Cockatoo is a beautiful, pink colored,  medium sized cockatoo  originating from Central and South Central Australia.  These parrots are considered to be "threatened" on a low level, as of this writing - they are on the Appendix II list.  Also known as the "Leadbeater" or Pink Cockatoo these birds may live about 60-75 years in captivity, Major Mitchell's tend to bond very deeply to one person and are prone to becoming nippy when they have to share their human mate.  

These birds are recommended as pets only for very experienced parrot people who are willing to undertake a life-long commitment for their care.  They are NOT known to be a cuddly pet like other species of Cockatoo's.

Like most Cockatoo's, Major Mitchell's are very active and do best with a lot of out of cage time and interaction.  Major Mitchell's need safe outlets to satisfy their instincts to explore, chew, and play. They require bird toys that promote intellectual stimulation, exercise and foraging opportunities.  And, lots and lots of wood to chew! Their cage requirements are large, too.  We recommend a 4' x 3' x 4' cage at a minimum.

But, it is a bit of a mystery about how the Major Mitchell Cockatoo got it's name.  If you know how these beautiful pink cockatoo's got the name "Major Mitchell" - please comment.

 

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Diane Burroughs, LCSW

Located in Denver, I'm a Mile High author and parrot feather plucking expert. I've always been a devoted animal lover with a special passion for parrots, Diane is also a behavior specialist. Make sure to join my Facebook group, UnRuffledRx Parrot Feather Plucking Help now!

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  • Diane Burroughs, LCSW
Comments 3
  • Bozena Kozlowski
    Bozena Kozlowski

    By “screaming” I meant he screeched at the convicts as they laboured in the heat, while Major Mitchell just sat there watching them, contributing nothing. Sounds like every cockatoo bearing his name.

  • Bozena Kozlowski
    Bozena Kozlowski

    Thomas Barkindji Man, my deepest respect to you and your ancestors. Yes, Major Mitchell was a pig of a man! The cockatoo was named by convicts who were assigned to him. Major Mitchell ate, screamed and defecated, much like the cockatoos that perched above the convicts, as they worked under brutal conditions. He did little else. He was very cruel to everyone. The cockatoos were not named to honour Major Mitchell, but to describe his behaviour. The name caught on because the powers that were, at the time, didn’t realise the hidden ridicule in the name.

  • Thomas Barkindji  Man
    Thomas Barkindji Man

    Hi Diane. This most beautiful Australian native bird got it’s name after an English explorer named “Major Mitchell” who explored west and central NSW around the Darling River Broken Hill, Menindee lakes, Wentworth and surrounding areas.

    Only problem him exploring the area was in todays society he would have been put in the same classification as Adolf Hitler, Starlin and other mass murderers ok. He and his men who were travelling with Mitchell exterminated many of my ancestors like poisoning water holes or giving damper bread laced with poison to the aboriganal people, just because they were not white and did not want to give their lands to Mitchell . This is stated in his journals that are finally being released from England archives.

    Up until the early 1920’s it was still permissable to kill indigenous peoples .

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