Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo


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Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

The red-tailed black cockatoo ( Calyptorhynchus banksii ) also known as Banksian’s or Banks ‘ black cockatoo, is a large black cockatoo native to Australia.

Species‎: ‎C. banksii
Genus‎: ‎Calyptorhynchus
Order‎: ‎Psittaciformes
Phylum‎: ‎Chordata

Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red tail panels that give the species its name. It is more common in the dry parts of the continent.

Five subspecies are recognized, differing mainly in beak size. Although the northernmost subspecies are widespread, the two southern subspecies, the forest red-tailed black cockatoo and the southeastern red-tailed black cockatoo are threatened.

The species is usually found in eucalypt forests or along waterways. In the northernmost regions of the country, these cockatoos are commonly seen in large flocks.

They are seed-eaters and cavity nesters, and as such depend on trees of fairly large diameters, usually Eucalypts. Of the black cockatoos, the red-tailed black cockatoo or Banksian is the most adaptable to aviculture,although black cockatoos are much rarer and much more expensive in aviculture outside Australia.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Description

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo (female), C. b. naso subspecies, Whicher Range National Park, south-west Western Australia
Rufous-tailed black cockatoos are about 60 centimeters (24 in) in length and are sexually dimorphic.

The plumage of the male is all black with a prominent black crest made up of elongated forehead and crown feathers. The beak is dark grey. The tail is also black and has two bright red side panels.

red-tailed black cockatoo females are black with yellow-orange stripes on the tail and chest and yellow to red patches on the cheeks and wings. The beak is pale and horn-colored.

The underparts are barred with fine yellow on a black base. Male birds weigh between 670–920 grams (1.5–2 lb), while females weigh slightly less at 615–870 grams (1.25–1.75 lb).

In common with other cockatoos and parrots, red-tailed black cockatoos or Banksians have zygodactylous feet, two toes facing forward and two backward, which allow them to grasp objects with one foot while standing. on the other, to feed and handle. Black cockatoos are almost exclusively left-footed (along with almost all other cockatoos and most parrots).

Juvenile red-tailed black cockatoos resemble females until puberty, which occurs around four years of age, but have pale yellow barred underparts.

As the birds mature, the males gradually replace their yellow tail feathers with red ones; the entire process takes about four years.
Like other cockatoos, the red-tailed black cockatoo or Banksian can live a very long time in captivity; in 1938, ornithologist Neville Cayley reported one over fifty years old at Taronga Zoo.

Funeral cockatoo

Another bird residing in London and Rotterdam zoos was 45 years and 5 months old when it died in 1979.

Several red-tailed black cockatoo calls have been recorded. The bird’s contact call is a rolling metallic krur-rr or kree , which can carry for long distances and is always pitched in flight; its alarm call is high-pitched. Showing off males vocalize a sequence of soft growls followed by a repetitive kred-kred-kred-kred.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Tailed Black Cockatoo

SOURCE: Wicked Wildlife

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Habitat

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (juvenile male), Darling Scarp, Roleystone, Southwestern Western Australia
The red-tailed black cockatoo or Banksian is found mainly in the drier parts of Australia.

It is widespread and abundant in a wide swath across the northern half of the country, where it has been considered an agricultural pest, with a more isolated distribution in the south.

It is found in a wide variety of habitats, from shrublands and grasslands, through eucalyptus, sheoak, and acacia forests, to dense tropical rainforests.

The bird depends on tall, old eucalyptus trees for nesting hollows, although the specific gums used vary in different parts of the country.

Cockatoos are not fully migratory, but they exhibit regular seasonal movements to different parts of Australia. In the northern parts of the Northern Territory they largely leave areas of high humidity during the summer rainy season.

In other parts of the country, seasonal movements of cockatoos tend to follow food sources, a pattern recorded in North Queensland,  and New South Wales.

In southwest Western Australia, the two extant subspecies appear to have a north-south pattern; northward after breeding in the case of the naso subspecies, while the movements of the Samueli subspecies in the wheat belt can be irregular and unrelated to the seasons.

Red Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Australian Bird Media.

SOURCE: Tim Siggs

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Behavior

in flight

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are diurnal, noisy, and noisy, and are often seen flying high overhead in small groups, sometimes mixed with other cockatoos.

Flocks of up to 500 birds are usually seen only in the north or when the birds are concentrated in a food source. Otherwise, they are generally rather shy around humans.

In northern and central Australia the birds may forage on the ground, while the two southern subspecies, graptogyne, and naso, are almost exclusively arboreal.

They tend to fly rather slowly with deep intermittent wingbeats, distinctly different from the shallow wingbeats of the similar glossy black cockatoo. They also often fly at a considerable height.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Reproduction

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Breeding

The birds breed readily in captivity and may lay eggs every 3 weeks between February and November. Once the female has an egg in her nest, she will not lay anymore. An egg takes about 30 days to hatch.

The eyes of the young open at around 3 weeks and the yellow down will show black feathers at around 6 weeks. The best time for hand-rearing is around 10 weeks when their black feathers are up but their tail feathers are still short.

Young birds fledge after about 4 months, and both sexes have their mother’s coloration. Mature male birds will become aggressive towards young male birds at puberty (4 years); they should be separated if caged.

The male Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo runs by fluffing out the crest and cheek feathers and hiding the beak; it then sings and struts, ending with a jump and flash of red tail feathers towards the female who will most often respond by biting it defensively.

Breeding generally takes place from May to September except in the case of the Southeastern subspecies, which nests during the summer (December to February).

Pairs of the Samueli subspecies in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia may produce two broods, while those of the southeastern subspecies produce only one.

Nesting takes place in large vertical hollows of tall trees. Isolated trees are usually chosen so that birds can fly to and from them relatively unhindered. The same tree can be used for many years.

Hollows can be 1 to 2 meters (3 to 7 feet) deep and 0.25 to 0.5 meters (10 to 20 inches) wide, with a wood chip base. A clutch consists of 1-2 dull white eggs, although the second chick is in most cases neglected and perishes in infancy.

Red-tailed black cockatoo | Amazing Australia | ABC Australia

SOURCE: ABC Australia

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Food

Although red-tailed black cockatoos feed on a wide variety of native and introduced grains, the mainstay of their diet is eucalyptus seeds.

There is a species-specific relationship to larger-fruited gum species. These vary across Australia but include the marri in south-west Western Australia, Darwin Woolybutt E. miniata in the north of the country, E. baxteri in Victoria, and the Corymbia bloodwood species polycarpa and C. intermediain Queensland.

Cockatoos bite twigs with clusters of seed capsules, then hold them with their paws while chewing and collecting seeds before littering the ground with debris.

Other seeds and nuts are eaten include those of Acacia, Allocasuarina, Banksia, Grevillea, and Hakea, as well as berries, fruits, and various insects.

Cockatoos have adapted to eating some introduced plants such as double gee ( Emex australis ). There is evidence of consumption of wild radish ( Raphanus raphanistrum ), wild turnip (Brassica tournefortii ), and melon ( Citrullus or Cucumis ).

Red-tailed black cockatoos have been implicated as agricultural pests of groundnut and other crops at Lakeland Downs in Far North Queensland.

Here the cockatoos, in flocks of several hundred birds, learned to cut the peanut plants above ground level before pulling the peanuts out of the ground by their stems and shelling them. They also damage electrical cables on pivot irrigators.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Price

black cockatoo

Black red-tailed cockatoos fetched prices of $1,750 in Australia and $8,900 (approximately $6,000) overseas in the late 1990s.

Banksian parrots can be purchased for between $15,000 and $40,000 in the United States, where they are rarely seen in aviculture.

Hand-raised birds are able to learn a few words and can be very affectionate, although males can become imprinted and unlikely to breed.

The red-tailed black cockatoo is the most commonly seen black cockatoo in captivity and can be hardy and long-lived if given plenty of space.

Until now, most birds in captivity belonged to the subspecies C. b. banksiiand C.b. Samueli. Birds were often bred before without paying too much attention to the original subspecies.

However, with growing interest in conservation, more and more aviculturists are concerned about maintaining the integrity of distinct subspecies in culture and thus avoiding interbreeding.

 


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