Family Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)

Least Concern

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)


French: Cacatoès corella German: Nacktaugenkakadu Spanish: Cacatúa sanguínea

Cacatua sanguinea


, 1843,

Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia


Closely related to C. goffiniana. Sometimes considered conspecific with C. pastinator, and in the past these two treated as conspecific with C. tenuirostris; but current evidence suggests that the three are probably best considered to constitute three separate species. Has hybridized in the wild with Callocephalon fimbriatum and Eolophus roseicapilla#R. Race westralensis sometimes subsumed within gymnopis. Proposed race subdistincta (from Kimberley, in N Western Australia) included within nominate; ashbyi (from Yanco Glen, N of Broken Hill, in W New South Wales) is synonymized with gymnopis. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. transfreta Mees, 1982 – lowland S New Guinea between Kumbe R and lower Fly R.
  • C. s. sanguinea Gould, 1843 – NW Western Australia (Kimberley) and Northern Territory E to Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • C. s. normantoni (Mathews, 1917) – W Cape York Peninsula (NW Queensland).
  • C. s. westralensis (Mathews, 1917) – WC & C Western Australia.
  • C. s. gymnopis P. L. Sclater, 1871 – inland C & E Australia (S from NW & C Queensland).
  • Descriptive notes

    36–39 cm; 430–580 g; culmen 34 mm. White with medium-length (65 mm) crest and diagnostic short bill; face salmon pink, as are bases of feathers of head and throat... read more


    Flight call is a nasal bisyllabic or trisyllabic “ke-wheh” or “ke-re-weh”, very similar to C.... read more


    Grassy woodland, scrub and grassland throughout tropical N and inland semi-arid Australia and S New... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of grasses and herbaceous plants, together with shoots, roots and blossom; also insects and their larvae. Sociable, foraging in large... read more


    Laying in dry season (May–Oct) in tropics, in spring (Aug–Oct) further S, but May–Oct in South Australia. Nests in tree-... read more


    Strong flier, travelling long distances to water or to abundant food sources, e.g. a piggery, feed-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common throughout inland and N Australia, frequently attaining pest status where irrigated cereal crops are grown. No definite population... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I. & Boesman, P. (2019). Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 September 2019).