For generations, the haunting flight call of the Carnaby's Cockatoo has heralded the onset of rain in Perth.
Description: Carnaby’s Cockatoos are mostly brownish-black with dusky white-tipped feathers. They have white ear covers, a white band towards the tip of the tail and a black bill. Females have yellowish-white ear covers and greyish bills. The Carnaby’s Cockatoo’s upper bill is broader and shorter than that of the Baudin’s Cockatoo.
Diet: Carnaby’s Cockatoos eat the seeds of Banksia, Dryandra, Hakea, Eucalyptus, Grevillea and Pine trees.
In the wild: Carnaby’s Cockatoos travel in large flocks of up to 2,000.
Threats: Carnaby’s Cockatoos have a very low rate of reproduction which means the population cannot quickly replace the large number of birds shot by farmers. Habitat destruction is also a major threat as cutting down trees destroys the cockatoos’ nesting sites. Carnaby’s Cockatoos come into competition with introduced bees, galahs and corellas for nesting sites. Carnaby’s Cockatoos are also highly sought after as pets on the black market. Many chicks are taken from nests and trees are cut down to get at the eggs and babies inside the nesting hollows.
It is illegal to shoot or poach Black Cockatoos.
Saving Wildlife Together: Perth Zoo’s veterinary hospital has treated hundreds of injured wild black cockatoos, with some going on to be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Perth Zoo is also involved in research into the health of wild black cockatoos.
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Did you know?
Carnaby’s Cockatoos make a ‘wee-loo’ sound when calling.