Amazing Drumming Bird: The Only One On Earth Playing Music With Tools Like Humans

australian drumming bird
Jim Bendon | Flickr

Do you know the Palm Cockatoo bird? If not yet, you will be amazed to discover that this species is the only one who can play music with tools like human drummers.

The palm cockatoo birds (Probosciger aterrimus), also known as the goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, are a large smoky-grey or black parrots of the cockatoo family native to New Guinea, Aru Islands, and Cape York Peninsula. They have a very large black beak and prominent red cheek patches.

Why are they so unique? Because they are used to hit the plants with tools, such as a wooden stick, in order to create a non-casual rhythm to attract females…and each bird has its own “song”.

palm cockatoo flying
Jim Bendon | Flickr

Birds are definitely excellent “singers” thanks to their twittering, but when it comes to play music with something else, the palm cockatoo is the only “non human” creature able to build instruments and play them like a man.

We may easily state that Cape York palm cockatoos have become drummers for love.

palm cockatoos couple
bob|P-&-S | Flickr

Although we are not unfamiliar with animals that build tools, they often do that to solve food-related problems. But these parrots are different and their tools are just used to produce sounds. Scientists from the Queensland and Deakin University observed them and recorded over 131 drumming sequences produced by 18 males: non-random, regular intervals that make these birds very similar to humans (at least under this aspect -Ed.).

The difference with humans? It seems that palm cockatoos are just soloists and don’t really like “playing in a band”.

australian drumming bird portrait
DickDaniels | Wikimedia Commons

The most peculiar thing? Only the species from Cape York have these skills, while their “cousins” from other areas just limit to beat the trees with their legs.

Would you like to see and hear them in action? Watch the video below and enjoy the beauty of nature.


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