The Palm Cockatoo has an overall length of about 22 inches, with the tail measuring from 8 to 10 inches. Weight can range from 1 to 2 pounds. The general coloration is black, both above and below. The feathers are heavily coated with powder-down, giving a bluish-gray appearance. The prominent backward-curving crest is usually raised immediately after alighting, and also when alarmed or excited.
They generally roost in the topmost branches of tall trees on the edge of the rainforest. Before leaving the roosting tree they spend some time preening. About an hour after sunrise they begin calling to each other, and parties of six or seven congregate in a tall tree. They feed in the open woodland until mid-morning, then shelter in the rainforest. At nightfall they return to their roosting sites. Median Life expectancy is up to 60 years.