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The Beauty of Black Cockatoos

From an early age I have been mesmerised by these incredible birds; from Palms to Red-tails, I love them all. Through both my personal life and work, I have had varying amounts to do with all species and most subspecies. I have been lucky enough to observe the first feeding of a newly hatched baby Palm and to share in and enjoy the successes of numerous breeders with Glossies, White-tails, Yellow-tails, Red-tails and I will include Gang-gangs here as well. These are all species that private aviculturists are undoubtedly so very lucky to be able to work with (dependent on where you are situated in the world, of course). A pair of Naso Red-tails that I have in my care are among my favourite birds that I have ever worked with, it is not only their gorgeous plumage, but also their beautiful personalities that endear this pair to me, in particular.


I must say though, that whilst I love working with these beauties in captivity, it is when I observe them in the wild that excites me even more! I am very lucky to see wild Yellow-tails on an all but daily basis; watching these huge cockatoos fly overhead is a pleasure, their slow wing beats and almost prehistoric-like calls never fail to grab my attention. I often see 20-30 Yellow-tails fly over my home, and was literally stopped in my tracks when I saw a flock of 120+ birds fly over me at a place about 30 minutes from home, towards the end of last year, what a magical sight it was!


Back in 2016 I was also lucky enough to observe both Carnaby's and Baudin's White-tails, along with Naso Red-tails, in the wild during a trip to southwest Western Australia. I remember my excitement as if it was yesterday, it's always a thrill to see species in the wild for the first time. To tick three black cockatoo species off of the list in one day was incredible.


More recently, about one month ago, I was treated to a particularly magical experience. I received a phone call from a friend who lives around 10 minutes from me, he called to inform me that a large flock of Glossy Blacks were feeding in the casuarinas surrounding his house. I wasted no time in jumping in the car and headed there with my young son, so that we could see this incredible sight for ourselves. Upon arrival there, I was blown away, I could hear Glossies all around. We walked around the property and observed 4 groups, there must have been around 30 birds in total! Previously I had only seen them in pairs or trios (mum, dad and bub). To me, it was simply amazing to see such a large number of this stunning and unfortunately threatened species in one place. Of course, I had my camera with me and whilst I was not able to get sufficiently close (due to the height of the trees) to get really clear shots, I am very pleased to have had this opportunity to observe and photograph them.


Following are some of the photos that I have taken of wild black cockatoos - Yellow-tails, White-tails and Glossies, please enjoy!





































Casuarina cones, the seeds inside are the favoured food of the Glossies


The tell-tail sign of Glossies at work; discarded, chewed casuarina cones littering the ground

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