Glossy Black-Cockatoo


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Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus lathami Scientific name definitions

  • LC Least Concern
  • Names (15)
  • Subspecies (3)

Identification

46–50 cm; c. 450 g; female smaller. Smallest black cockatoo  , which, together with lack of a distinctive crest distinguishes present species from C. banksii. Brownish black overall with red subterminal panel in tail, narrower than in C. banksii; outer vane of outermost rectrix black; dark grey bill, with upper mandible bulbous and lower mandible broad and hollowed at tip; feet grey.

 Female  has yellow patches on head  and sides of neck  ; tail panel red and yellow barred black, with central two feathers all black. Immature like adult female, but with yellow body barring on throat and belly during first year. Race halmaturinus  has a disproportionately larger bill  than that of nominate, whilst erebus has a smaller one.

Systematics History

Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies


SUBSPECIES

Calyptorhynchus lathami erebus Scientific name definitions

Distribution

coastal CE Queensland, in E Australia.


SUBSPECIES

Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami Scientific name definitions

Distribution

inland and coastal E Australia from SE Queensland to E Victoria.


SUBSPECIES

Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus Scientific name definitions

Distribution

Kangaroo I (South Australia).

Distribution

Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future we will develop a range-wide distribution article.

Habitat

Dependent on sheoaks  (Allocasuarina) in coastal forest and open woodland in E and SE  Australia.

Movement

Birds follow fruiting trees  around a locality throughout the year; usually in small groups but up to 40 birds may roost together.

Diet and Foraging

Appears to feed almost exclusively on the seeds of Allocasuarina species (A. verticillataA. littoralisA. torulosa). Cones are picked individually  and fragmented in specialized bill  to release seeds; these are then separated by working  tongue and lower mandible against upper mandible and discarding the chaff; cone-handling time is 40–140 seconds, depending on size of cone.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Not very vocal. Commonest call is a drawn-out grating “krrrrruh”, given both in flight and when perched. When foraging, softer call notes are uttered such as “kruh” or “kree”.

Breeding

Mar–Aug. Nest is bed of chips in a large hollow of dead or live tree. 1 egg (occasionally 2); incubation c. 29 days, by female only; chick has long, dense yellow down; male feeds female which then feeds nestling; young bird leaves nest when 60–100 days old. In race halmaturinus, 1·2–1·6 adult males per female during 1996–2011, with a similar sex-ratio in nestlings (1).

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly considered Vulnerable. CITES II. Rare and unobtrusive, and not widely known; historically, has suffered extensive habitat loss.

Many areas of suitable habitat now protected in reserves and parks, but, with species’ very specialized dietary requirements, local populations could become endangered if supply of Allocasuarina were to fail; care in ensuring continuing replacement of food trees is important. Race halmaturinus 

of Kangaroo I is endangered; it numbers fewer than 200 birds with only a small breeding population that has to compete for hollows with brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), honey bees (Apis mellifera) and the more aggressive Eolophus roseicapilla; a study of this race  is in progress,

to identify and suggest remedies for current very poor recruitment rate. Plantings of drooping casuarina (Allocasuarina verticillata), the prime food source, established only 10 years ago, are already bearing cones and attracting present species to feed.


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