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Glossy-black-cockatoo Picture

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The Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami), also known as the Casuarina Black Cockatoo after one of their preferred food items, is the smallest member of the subfamily Calyptorhynchinae found in Australia. Adult Glossy Black Cockatoos may reach 50 cm (20 in) in length and sexually dimorphic. Males are completely black in colour, excepting their prominent red tail bands; the females are dark brownish with some yellow spotting. Three subspecies are recognised.


The Glossy Black Cockatoo was first described by Dutch naturalist Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1807. The scientific name honours the English ornithologist John Latham.

The Glossy Black Cockatoo's closest relative is the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo; the two species form the subgenus Calyptorhynchus within the genus of the same name. They are distinguished from the other Black Cockatoos of the subgenus Zanda by their significant sexual dimorphism and calls of the juveniles; one a squeaking begging call, the other a vocalization when swallowing food.


The three subspecies were proposed by Schodde et al. in 1993, though Forshaw has reservations due to their extremely minimal differences.

  • C. l. lathami: (Rare) The eastern subspecies found between southeastern Queensland and Mallacoota in Victoria, with isolated pockets in Eungella in central Queensland and the Riverina and Pilliga forest. It is associated with casuarina woodland.
  • C. l. erebus Occurs in central Queensland.
  • C. l. halmaturinus: (Endangered) The Kangaroo Island) subspecies has been listed by the Australian Government as endangered. Restricted to the northern and western parts of the island, the population may be as low as 100 individuals. It depends on the Drooping she-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) and the Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx)


Like the related Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, this species is and sexually dimorphic. The male Glossy Black Cockatoo is predominantly black with with a chocolate brown head and striking caudal red patches. The female is a duller dark brown, with flecks of yellow in the tail and collar. The female's tail is barred whereas the male's tail is patched. An adult will grow to be about 46-50 cm (18-20 in) in length. The birds are found in open forest and woodlands, and usually feed on seeds of the she-oak (Casuarina spp.)

Conservation Status Rush Creek, SE Queensland, Australia Male, Kobble Creek, SE Queensland Female, Kobble Creek, SE Queensland


Glossy Black-cockatoos generally are not listed as threatened on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, however the Kangaroo Island race, C.lathami halmaturinis was added to the list as endangered.

State of Victoria, Australia
  • The eastern subspecies of the Glossy Black-cockatoo (C. l. lathami) is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988). Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not been prepared.
  • On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, the subspecies C. l. lathami is listed as vulnerable.

State of Queensland,Australia

C.lathami lathami is listed as vulnerable by the Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland)


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