Cockatoos

Cacatuidae

Eleven of Australia’s 14 species are endemic, with the others shared with New Guinea. Medium to large crested birds, except the Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus is more slender and parrot-like, with two toes facing forwards and two facing rearwards (zygodactylous). Many form noisy flocks, which can consist of several hundred individuals in some species.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo

Also known as the Short-billed Black-Cockatoo, the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is easily confused with the Baudin’s (or Long-billed) Black-Cockatoo Z. baudinii , which has a longer upper mandible, although this can often be partially obscured by feathers. Both are large (54-56cm) black cockatoos with a white cheek patch and white panels in the tail. The male of both species has a pinkish eye-ring. The...
Cockatiel

Cockatiel

The Cockatiel, or Quarrion as it is popularly called, is actually a cockatoo, although its slender body and long pointed tail is more characteristic to that of a parrot. It is widespread throughout mainland Australia, but large numbers are found in the more arid inland areas, where it can be seen feeding on a variety of grass seeds, nuts, berries and grain. Feeding may take place either on the...
Gang-gang Cockatoo

Gang-gang Cockatoo

The state bird emblem of the ACT, and can be identified by its general grey plumage, each feather edged with greyish-white, and its short, square tail. The male has a conspicuous red, curly crest. It is almost completely arboreal, venturing to the ground only to drink or to pick up fallen food. It is easily overlooked when feeding. The common call is a prolonged creaky screech. It inhabits the...

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus lathami Although the smallest Black-Cockatoo (around 36cm) it is still very impressive. The male has a similar red band on the tail to the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii , however the crest is reduced to a small crown and the head has faint yellow around the feather edges. The bill in both males and females is large and the rest is a charcoal black. The female...

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

Cacatua leadbeateri This is a beautiful salmon-pink and white cockatoo. When the crest is erected it reveals a dark pink-red colouration with a broad yellow band running through the centre. In flight, the dark pink of the under-wings is clear visible. It feeds on a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits and insects, both in trees and on the ground. Forming small flocks, occasionally in the company of...

Palm Cockatoo

Probosciger aterrimus Both sexes of this large (around 56cm), predominantly dark blue-black cockatoo, with massive upper bill and scarlet facial patch, are similar, although the females are generally smaller than the males. The crest consists of numerous elongated plumes, which appear untidy and backswept. The younger birds have a paler face and yellowish flecking on the feathers of the underparts....

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus banksii This is a large, black cockatoo. The male is easily identified by its dense crest of black feathers, almost entirely black plumage, and bright red undertail. The female is duller grey-brown, barred and spotted with yellow, and has a diagnostic whitich bill. The Glossy Black-Cockatoo C. lathami (see p. ???) of south-east Australia and Kangaroo Island, SA, has a paler...

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Cacatua galerita The white plumage, black bill and distinctive sulphur-yellow crest of the common and familiar Sulphur-crested Cockatoo distinguish it from all other cockatoos found in Australia. Although the normal diet consists of berries, seeds, nuts and roots, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has become a pest around urban areas, where it uses its powerful bill to destroy timber decking and panelling...
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

This cockatoo is easily identified by its predominantly black plumage, the feathers of the body edged with yellow, and its yellow cheek patch and yellow panels on the underside of the tail. (The Carnaby’s, or Short-billed, Black-Cockatoo, found in south-western Western Australia and having white tail panels instead of yellow, was formerly considered a subspecies of the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo r...