Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Banks' Black cockatoo, Great-billed cockatoo

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
SPECIES
Calyptorhynchus banksii
Population size
100,000
Life Span
25-50 yrs
TOP SPEED
70 km/h
WEIGHT
615-920 g
LENGTH
60 cm

The Red-tailed black cockatoo is a large cockatoo native to Australia. It has a crest that forms a helmet when the bird raises it and pushes it forward. Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on the tail that gives the species its name. The female has duller plumage with yellow spots on her head, wings, and neck. Her underbody has bars of pale orange-yellow with orange-yellow panels on the tail, barred black.

Di

Diurnal

Gr

Granivore

He

Herbivore

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Ov

Oviparous

Zo

Zoochory

Mo

Monogamy

So

Social

Fl

Flocking

No

Not a migrant

R

starts with

Co

Coal Black
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Red-tailed black cockatoos occur in Australia and are more widespread in the northern drier parts of the continent. They are not wholly migratory, but they do exhibit regular seasonal movements in different parts of Australia. These birds live in open country as well as forests. They prefer Eucalyptus woodlands and riverside trees but can also live in a wide variety of habitats, including subtropical rainforest, farmland with scattered Eucalyptus, or grasslands with scattered trees.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Red-tailed black cockatoos are diurnal and raucous and are often to be seen flying in small flocks high overhead, sometimes alongside other cockatoos. Flocks as big as 500 are usually seen only in the north or concentrated at a food source. They depart from their communal roost early in the morning to drink at a regular place, then disperse widely to feed. They remain sheltered in the foliage around the middle of the day and return to the feeding areas late in the afternoon. The flock returns to its roosting trees near water at the close of the day. In central and northern Australia, the cockatoo feeds in trees or on the ground. Southern species feed mostly in the trees. These cockatoos are not wholly migratory, but they do exhibit regular seasonal movements in different parts of Australia.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

These cockatoos are herbivores (granivores) and eat mainly seeds. However, they will also consume fruits, nuts, bulbs, flowers, and insects. Favorite seeds are eucalypts, acacias, casuarinas, and banksias.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
May-September, south-eastern subspecies in December-February
INCUBATION PERIOD
28-30 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
3 months
FEMALE NAME
hen
MALE NAME
cock
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
1-2 eggs

The Red-tailed black cockatoo is monogamous, mating for life. If it happens that one patner disappears, the other may choose not to mate again. Mating takes place usually between May and September except for the south-eastern bird, which nests during the summer (December to February). The cockatoo nests in tree hollows or in dead trees, and they must be tall trees. They line the hollow with decayed and chewed wood. The female lays 1 egg, occasionally 2. Only 1 chick will be raised. Incubation is carried out just by the female, for about 28 to 30 days. The female is fed by the male during incubation. The chick is fed by both parents. The young depends on its parents for food for about 3 months. It may fledge at about 100 days of age when it has reached adult size. Reproductive maturity is reached within about 4 years.

Population

Population threats

As with many Australian parrots, the cockatoo is threatened by bird smuggling and is the most often observed in captivity. Other threats are habitat modification, clearing for forestry and agriculture or forestry, urban development, and also climate change.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Red-tailed black cockatoo population is believed to be in excess of 100,000 individuals. The Northern subspecies of Red-tailed black cockatoo is widespread and is not considered endangered. Just in the Northern Territory, there are about 60,000 birds. The Southeastern subspecies, however, is considered endangered. In 2001 there were estimated to be only 650-1000 birds in the population, including 500-770 adults. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The Red-tailed black cockatoo is named to honor the scientist Sir James Banks.
  • Some Australians believe this cockatoo brings rain and are happy to see it for this reason.
  • These cockatoos are the biggest of Australian parrots.
  • Cockatoos' beaks are very strong and they use them to break open very hard seeds of gum trees.

References

1. Red-Tailed Cockatoo Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_black_cockatoo
2. Red-Tailed Cockatoo on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22684744/0
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/688196

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