the kings of the coast

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male black cockatoo

Living on the edge of Moonee Beach Nature Reserve I am learning about the daily habits of the local wildlife. There is a large flock of black cockatoos that live in the she-oak, banksia and paperbark trees that stretch off into the distance and I have been following them around with my camera. Usually when living away from tracks of bushland we only really see and hear the black cockatoos when rain is imminent and their warnings that rain is coming is an established part of Australian bushlore. The flocks around here are yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos. They have yellow tail panels, yellow ear patches and pale edges to feathers. The first picture is an adult male – they have the pink eye-ring and dark grey bill. young male black cockatooThey look and fly somewhat like prehistoric birds, very slow and measured wing-beats and they call frequently to each other with a plaintive ‘plee-erk’. They nest in hollow trees and lay 1 – 2 eggs. There are lots of young ones around like this young male in the second pic. These ones are feeding on the banksia flowers and I have seen others eating the needles on the she-oaks, they are quite cheeky and I am sure they have winked at me while I have lumbered around through the grass trying to sneak up on them.

You can see what I mean.. this one is a female.. they have the whitish bill and a grey eye ring and more yellow freckles. I am sure she is laughing at me!

Acknowledgment: The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds

4 thoughts on “the kings of the coast

    cindy knoke said:
    October 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Gorgeous! I thought Black Cockatoos were rather rare? They are very expensive to buy in the US, plus they belong in the wild. We saw a lot of them. Love Australia’s incredible birds! I hand faed lots of them! Fun.
    Cindy

      margosnotebook responded:
      October 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

      thanks so much for all your comments, its lovely when people interact with the blog, the community is why I love blogging. There are strict guidelines on bird trafficking.. perhapes cockatoos are allowable. there are quite a few different black cockatoos in australia and i don’t think they are particularly rare though some only live in certain parts.
      Cheers
      m.

        cindy knoke said:
        October 22, 2012 at 11:02 am

        Margo-
        Oh yes. I would never want to take the birds out of Australia, or any other natural habitat. There were so healthy, happy and thriving in the wild, nothing like the birds people raise here for the pet trade. They seem so sad by comparison. In the US, there are strict import regs as well. You can hand raise banded domesticated birds. Interestingly there are wild parrots in Southern California that escaped from private breeders. They thrive, but not at the holler as the winters are too cold.
        Thanks for the photos. Lucky you!
        Cindy

        margosnotebook responded:
        October 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        Yes birds are best left in their natural habitats or at least looked after by loving people in enviroments/climates that are similar to their homelands. There is a place for breeding/pets as it opens up people’s hearts to the birds/animals and can be a catalyst for caring for native wildlife. My cousin works for the National Parks office and has been involved in breaking native animal traffic rings.. unfortunately they still operate by filling suitcases with birds stuffed inside socks etc. Apparently they accept only a limited number will survive. Very sad isn’t it.

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