Category Archives: Cockatoo

Call of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Today I spotted a group of Glossy Black-Cockatoos, and I recorded a video so you can hear them chatting to each other. For two consecutive weeks I’ve seen a group of these birds at Manly Dam Reserve. I guess they’re the same birds each time, though on opposite sides of the dam. According to my bird book, this bird is reasonably uncommon, perhaps declining in number.

It’s a short video. As I was recording it, a bush ranger drove up and startled the birds. They flew off and came towards me, which gives you a good view of the orange-red flashes in their tails.

Last week’s post has still pictures of  a Glossy Black-Cockatoo, probably from the same group.

Common name: Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus lathami

Approximate length: 50cm

Date spotted: 3 March 2018 (Summer)

Location: Manly Dam National Reserve, near Sydney: 33°46’49.2″S 151°15’04.1″E

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Glossy Black-Cockatoo spotted near Sydney

Quite exciting! According to my bird book, this bird is reasonably uncommon, perhaps declining. It’s a Glossy Black-Cockatoo, and I saw three of them for the first time ever this morning.

The raised crest gives the bird a typical look of parrot curiosity:

In this photo, the bird did a bit of grooming and showed the orange-red flares in its tail feathers:

In our area we see a lot of the white sulphur-crested cockatoos. Occasionally the yellow-tailed black cockatoos pay us a visit, when their favourite trees are in flower. I’ve never before seen any of these glossy black cockatoos.

From underneath, the tail feathers look entirely yellow, white, and black:

In the photo below, you can see more of the orange in the tail, and the small crest on the bird’s head:

From the rear, the orange is more visible:

Another frontal view:

Common name: Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus lathami

Approximate length: 50cm

Date spotted: 25 February 2018 (Summer)

Location: Manly Dam National Reserve, near Sydney: 33°46’36.5″S 151°15’18.2″E

Black cockatoos in love

These two Black Cockatoos seem very much in love. They’re carefully grooming each other’s heads. Other birds in the tree are making the crooning noise that I’ve heard before around this time of year. I suspect it has a lot to do with spring and the mating season.

You’d need to trust someone, to let them near your head with a beak this size!

Common name: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus funereus

Approximate length: 65 cm

Date spotted: 3 September 2017 (Spring)

Location: Manly Dam National Park, NSW, Australia: 33°46’46.5″S 151°15’00.4″E

Cockatoos teasing

Cockatoos are playful, sociable creatures. Yesterday I watched a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos high in a gum tree. One of them was grooming. The other was teasing its companion, prodding it and seeming very satisfied with the startled response.

A couple of minutes later both of them flare their wings and crests, squawking gleefully.

Common name: Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Scientific name: Cacatua galerita

Approximate length: 50 cm

Date spotted: 8 October 2016

Season: Spring

Location: Manly Dam Park, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’51.5″S 151°14’51.7″E

Wild call of the black cockatoo

The banksias are in seed, and the black cockatoos are in town! Out strolling in the bush today, I came across a large group of these majestic birds. Their raucous squawks are typical cockatoo, but they add a wild, shrieking call that sounds more like a fish eagle, and a chitter chatter that’s all their own.

The first video shows a dead tree with plenty of interesting cavities and perches for a curious cockatoo. You can hear the wild calls as the birds take off and land.

In the next video, the birds chatter and call to each other as they clamber around the same dead tree. I hadn’t heard this type of chatter from black cockatoos before today.

What does a gum tree full of black cockatoos sound like? This is the same flock, high up in a gum tree.

Details of this sighting

Common name: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus funereus

Approximate length: 65 cm

Date spotted: 27 August 2016

Season: Late winter

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’50.7″S 151°14’53.7″E

A few days earlier

The following video and photos show an encounter with a group of the birds a few days earlier (22 August) in a different area of the reserve (33°46’35.1″S 151°15’16.7″E).

Perched high above the bush:

Black cockatoo at Manly Dam

A final cheeky look:
Black cockatoo Manly Dam

Black cockatoo eating banksia seedpod

Out for an early morning walk the other day, I suddenly found myself amongst a group of black cockatoos snacking on seedpods and chatting. These birds are large and wild, and fairly rare, so it’s a real treat when you bump into them.

The cockatoos were in a cluster of banksia trees. In the video, you’ll hear the black cockatoo’s weird squealing call just once, as well as the more raucous squawk of some sulphur-crested cockatoos (not visible in the video) and other bird calls.

Common name: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus funereus

Approximate length: 65 cm

Date spotted: 1 August 2016

Season: Winter

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’46.4″S 151°15’22.3″E

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are sociable creatures, often travelling in large groups. This one was with four others, but sat apart looking a bit grumpy.

Cockatoo

It can be difficult to get a good photo of a cockatoo, because they’re so white that the sun gleams off them and the resulting glare removes all detail. So I was pretty please with these shots. Here’s a rear view:

Cockatoo-ManlyDam-20December2014 002

Common name: Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Scientific name: Cacatua galerita

Approximate length: 50 cm

Date spotted: 20 December 2014

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’45.6″S 151°14’59.2″E

Black Cockatoos social grooming

A flight of Black Cockatoos swooped in over my head and landed in a big old gum tree, screeching their wild call. Two of them immediately started a careful and fond session of mutual grooming. As far as I can tell, both birds are female as they both have pale bills and grey (not red) rings around their eyes. You can hear their soft squawks as well as their characteristic wild shrieks on the video.

Here’s a still photo of the two social groomers:

Black Cockatoos social grooming

This is one of the other birds in the group:

Black Cockatoo

Common name: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus funereus

Approximate length: 65 cm

Date spotted: 6 October 2014

Season: Spring

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’05.2″S 151°14’26.5″E