Family Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)

Least Concern

Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator)


French: Cacatoès laboureur German: Wühlerkakadu Spanish: Cacatúa cavadora

Licmetis pastinator


, 1841,

Swan River, Western Australia


Sometimes considered to include smaller and smaller-billed C. sanguinea, and in the past treated as conspecific with C. tenuirostris; on current evidence, the three (entirely allopatric) forms probably best considered to constitute three separate species. Type specimen of race derbyi previously considered of doubtful origin and locality, but subsequently validated#R; described form butleri (from near Coorow) is synonym of derbyi. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. derbyi (Mathews, 1916) – N wheatbelt of W Western Australia, from around Geraldton S to c. 32º S.
  • C. p. pastinator (Gould, 1841) – SW Western Australia (centred around Unicup and L Muir).
  • Descriptive notes

    37–45 cm; male c. 700 g, female c. 600 g. White, with medium-length crest (47–56 mm) and long upper mandible (37–52 mm); concealed bases of the feathers of... read more


    Considered to be very similar to that of C. sanguinea, giving a trisyllabic chuckling,... read more


    Grassy, open forest and eucalypt woodland, especially along watercourses, and adjacent farmland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Gregarious graminivore, but also takes insects and their larvae. Long upper mandible enables bird to dig up underground storage parts of a... read more


    Laying Jul–Oct. Pair-bond maintained throughout the year. Nest is a bed of woodchips, in tree hollow in native eucalypts, mainly ... read more


    Pairs tend to nest in traditional sites and to forage nearby (typically 1·6 km away) while... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Previously considered Near Threatened. Population of nominate pastinator may be increasing, but at present numbers c. 1000–... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator). 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 19 December 2018).