Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Click to enlarge image
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Image: David Cook
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Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    LEAST CONCERN (LC)
  • Classification
    Species
    funereus
    Genus
    Calyptorhynchus
    Family
    Cacatuidae
    Order
    Psittaciformes
    Class
    Aves
  • Size Range
    55 cm to 65 cm

The Yellow-Tailed Black-Cockatoo is one of six species of Black-Cockatoo in Australia. In recent years it has been in rapid decline because of native habitat clearance, with a loss of food supply and nest sites.

Identification

The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is a large 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 grey eye-ring (pink in males), white upper 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.

Habitat

The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo 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.

Distribution

The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is found in south-eastern Australia, from Eyre Peninsula, South Australia to south and central eastern Queensland.



Feeding and diet

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos feed in small to large flocks. Their favoured foods are wood-boring larvae and seeds of native and introduced trees and ground plants.

Communication

The contact call is a drawn-out, distinctive "kee-ow". They may screech if alarmed.

Breeding behaviours

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 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.

  • Breeding season: Variable
  • Clutch size: 2
  • Time in nest: 168 days

References

  • Crome, F. and Shields, J. 1992. Parrots and Pigeons of Australia. Angus and Robertson/National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife, Sydney.
  • Pizzey, G. and Knight, F. 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
  • Schodde, R. and Tideman, S.C. (eds) 1990. Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds (2nd Edition). Reader's Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Sydney.
  • Forshaw, Joseph M. & Cooper, William T. 2002. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus (Shaw). pp 57-70 in: Australian Parrots / Joseph M. Forshaw ; illustrated by William T. Cooper Alexander Editions, Robina, Queensland.