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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PSITTACIFORMES > PSITTACIDAE > YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO [Calyptorhynchus funereus]


Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus, is native to the south-east of Australia and is the largest of the cockatoos and of Australian parrots. It is found from Eyre Peninsula to south and central eastern Queensland. In some places at least, they appear to have adapted to humans and can be often seen in many parts of urban Sydney and Melbourne.

Although not particularly common, they are one of the most well-loved and characteristic birds of southern Australia. They are usually seen flying at only moderate height. They have particularly large wings and flap deeply, very slowly, and with a peculiar heavy, fluid motion. Their loud, eerie wailing calls carry for long distances, and the combination of sound and silhouette is unmistakable.

Taxonomy and naming

The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo was first described by the English naturalist George Shaw. The current genus name, Calyptorhynchus, comes from the Greek calypto-/???????- "hidden" and rhynchus/?????? "beak". The change was first made by Anselme GaŽtan Desmarest in 1826.

Description

Adult birds are between 55 and 65 cm in length and weigh over 800 grams, black overall with paler feather-margins and patches of pale yellow in the tail. The male bird has a black bill, a dull yellow patch behind the eye, and a reddish eye-ring. Females and immature birds have a grey eye-ring, a light-coloured bill, and a brighter more clearly-defined yellow cheek-patch.

Behaviour A Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo striping away bark from a tree

Diet

Their natural food is varied, but much of the diet comprises seeds of native trees, particularly she-oak (Casuarina) but also Eucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia and Hakea. They are also partial to pine cones in plantations of the introduced Pinus radiata. They are very fond of the larvae of tree-boring beetles and moths, and strip the bark from the trees and tear away at the wood to find them.

Breeding

The yellow-tailed black cockatoos have a long breeding season. Both sexes construct the nest, which is a large tree hollow, lined with wood chips. The female alone incubates one or two eggs, while the male supplies the food. Usually only one chick survives, and it stays in the care of its parents for about six months.

Searching for grubs, Kobble Creek, SE Qld






                                     



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