Friday, 15 May 2009

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo gave me a fright


This morning whilst walking in my back room (aka laundry) I was startled by a flock of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos.
They took off after hearing me, from the noise I made with the washing basket, and flew out of the tree they were all in, right by the window.
My guess was around 8 of these big, black beautiful birds were happy in my huge gum tree before I surprised them, and they surprised me.

I've never seen these beautiful birds before in the wild and got to thinking where they had come from and where were they going?
I hope to see them again, soon.

Some info on Australia's beautiful black bird:
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Description
The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is a large (55 - 65 cm) cockatoo. 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 brown 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.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos also have a distinctive call. The contact call is a drawn-out "kee-ow". Some screeches are also given.

Until recently, the Short-billed Black-Cockatoo, C. latirostris, found in south-western Australia, was considered a subspecies of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo. This species has white, instead of yellow, panels in the tail. Another similarly sized black-coloured cockatoo is the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, C. magnificus. This species overlaps with the range of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo in south-eastern Queensland. It has red panels in the tail, and spotting on the body and head. The smaller (48 cm) Glossy Black-Cockatoo, C. lathami, also has red panels in the tail.

Distribution and Habitat
The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is found in south-eastern Australia, from Eyre Peninsula, South Australia to south and central eastern Queensland. Here it inhabits a variety of habitat types, but favours eucalypt woodland and pine plantations. Small to large flocks can be seen in these areas, either perched or flying on slowly flapping wings.

Food and feeding
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos feed in small to large, noisy flocks. The favoured food is seeds of native trees and pinecones, but birds also feed on the seeds of ground plants. Some insects are also eaten.

Breeding
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 two 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.

6 comments:

vanilla pixie (Carley) said...

Wow - how amazing! We saw a large flock of them on our recent trip to the mountains. Beautiful, but extremely noisy

incalesco said...

How pretty. There are quite a few of the red crested black cockatoos near my work, and plenty of the normal sulfur crested whites, but I don't think I have seen any Yellow-tailed blacks either. What a sight it must have been.

BonTons said...

I've never seen those before. Maybe they'll come back tomorrow!

Owl and Fox said...

Oh lucky you! They hang around St Andrews and we see them sometimes, but never that many at once :)

Denise said...

Aren't birds beautiful creatures!!
A few weeks ago my husband pointed out a large flock of black cockatoos flying over our house. They were making that very loud, distinctive sound and looked amazing.

REread said...

they are crazy mental birds ... cockatoos of any sort just make me laugh, especially when they put their crest up and look at you like 'what are you looking at dummy?'

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