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Cockatoos

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is the smallest of the five black-cockatoos. It has a brown-black head, neck and underparts, with red or orange-red tail panels and an otherwise dull black body. The crest is small and inconspicuous and the bill is broad and bulbous. Adult females have extensive yellow patches on the head and neck and the tail panels tend to be more orange-red with black bars, but may become less barred and more red with age. Some adult males have a few yellow feathers on the head and the males' tail panels tend to be bright red. Young birds resemble adult males but have yellow spotted or streaked breasts, bellies and flanks, with some yellow spots on cheeks and sides of head. They nest in tree hollows for breeding. The Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeds almost exclusively on the seeds of the Casuarina tree: in a particular area, birds may feed only on a single species. It may also sometimes eat wood-boring larvae. They strip the seed pods from the tree, then tear them open with their strong bills to extract the seeds — the ground below is often littered with dozens of discarded cones. They feed in threes, less commonly in pairs or small groups or in large flocks of up to 60 birds. Tame and easily approached when feeding, they can be detected by the clicking of their bills and the falling debris of casuarina cones and twigs. They mate for life, with pairs maintaining their bond all year round. The female prepares the nest hollow and incubates the eggs, only leaving the nest to feed herself after the newly hatched nestling is a week old. Males feed the female and nestling throughout the incubation and brooding period. Once fledged, the young bird is fed by both parents for up to four months and remains with them until the next breeding season.(Source: Birdlife Australia, n.d.), (Image: Don VanPoppel).

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

The Yellow-Tailed Black-Cockatoo is a large cockatoo, up to 65cm long. It is one of six species of Black-Cockatoo in Australia. In recent years it has been in rapid decline because of native habitat clearance, with a loss of food supply and nest sites. It is easily identified by its mostly black plumage, with most body feathers edged with yellow, not visible at a distance. It has a yellow cheek patch and yellow panels on the tail. The female has a larger yellow cheek patch, pale grey eye-ring (pink in males), white upper bill (grey-black in males) and black marks in the yellow tail panels. Young birds resemble the adult female, but young males have a smaller cheek patch. Their preferred habitat are eucalypt woodland and pine plantations. Small to large flocks can be seen in these areas, either perched or flying on slowly flapping wings. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos have a long breeding season, which varies throughout their range. Both sexes construct the nest, which is a large tree hollow, lined with wood chips. The female alone incubates the eggs, while the male supplies her with food. Usually only one chick survives, and this will stay in the care of its parents for about six months. (Source: Australian Museum, 2018.), (Image: Sandy Castle).

Galah

Galah

The male has a grey body with the edge of feathers lighter green-grey, orange-red head with a small floppy red crest. The female has a dark grey head and crest with bars on the chest. Their body is up to 35 cm long. Their call is a distinctive screech that sounds similar to the creaking sound of an opening door. Gang-gang Cockatoos pair for life. They nest in deep hollows in trees and pairs will usually return to the same tree every year. They begin breeding at four years old and breed between October and January. Females lay up to three eggs and both parents will incubate and rear the young. Gang-gangs are gregarious social birds and several pairs will often nest close together. The young often congregate while the parents are out foraging for food. Gang-gangs migrate seasonally, spending summer in high-altitude areas, generally tall mountain forests and woodlands, and winter in warmer lowland areas, such as open eucalypt forests and woodlands. They are sometimes also seen in urban areas in the winter. They prefer wet forests and woodlands in mountain areas, occasionally in urban areas. (Source: Atlas of Living Australia, n.d.), (Image: Allan Bock).

Gang-gang Cockatoo

Gang-gang Cockatoo

The male has a grey body with the edge of feathers lighter green-grey, orange-red head with a small floppy red crest. The female has a dark grey head and crest with bars on the chest. Their body is up to 35 cm long. Their call is a distinctive screech that sounds similar to the creaking sound of an opening door. Gang-gang Cockatoos pair for life. They nest in deep hollows in trees and pairs will usually return to the same tree every year. They begin breeding at four years old and breed between October and January. Females lay up to three eggs and both parents will incubate and rear the young. Gang-gangs are gregarious social birds and several pairs will often nest close together. The young often congregate while the parents are out foraging for food. Gang-gangs migrate seasonally, spending summer in high-altitude areas, generally tall mountain forests and woodlands, and winter in warmer lowland areas, such as open eucalypt forests and woodlands. They are sometimes also seen in urban areas in the winter. They prefer wet forests and woodlands in mountain areas, occasionally in urban areas. (Source: Atlas of Living Australia, n.d.), (Image: birdphotosneill).

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has a white body with a yellow crest on the head. The bill and legs are dark grey to black. They grow up to 50 cm long. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoos breed in hollows in old growth trees. They make loud, harsh calls that can be heard from a distance. They eat fruits and seeds. Their preferred habitat are forests, woodlands, grasslands and urban areas. (Source: Atlas of Living Australia, n.d.), (Image: Mick McKeon).