Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

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image: rtblackcockatoo.jpg

Common Name: Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
Scientific Name: Calyptorhynchus banksii

Size: 19 ¾ to 26 ¾ inches (50-68cm)

Habitat: Australia; In Victoria, the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo occurs from Portland in south-east to just north of the Little Desert, while in South Australia it is found from Bangham-Frances to Mt Gambier. Its former distribution may never have been much greater than this, but the extent of occurrence within this range has declined significantly due to habitat loss (c. 60% of habitat in Victoria and 80% in Southern Australia has been destroyed).

Status: Endangered. Global population: 250-999. Populations of the south-east region of Australia are threatened by clearing of native habitat. Much of the feeding habitat used by these birds is protected in State Forests. However, nesting habitat on private land is disappearing rapidly as a consequence of tree dieback, felling of potential nest trees for firewood, and the general intensification of farming (i.e. change from grazing to farm forestry, cropping etc).

In Australia they are a protected species and a permit is required to keep them. There is an export ban on live, dead or parts of the bird, including feathers. According to the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000, the south-eastern subspecies of the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo is endangered.

Diet: Feed on the seeds of Brown Stringybarks (Eucalyptus baxteri /E.arenacea) and Bulokes (Allocasuarina leuhmannii).

Breeding: For nesting, the Cockatoo's require old River Red Gums or Yellow Gums with large hollows. Most nest trees are within 2km of suitable feeding habitat. A clutch consists of 1-2 eggs, though if a second egg is laid the chick is neglected and quickly perishes.

Cool Facts: They are one of the rarest and most expensive cage birds, usually costing over $20,000 USD.

“Karak”, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo was the official mascot of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, held in Melbourne, Australia.

Found in Parrots of the World and Songbird ReMix Australia Volume III

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