Glossy black-cockatoo

Glossy Black Cockatoo - Picture: Guy Castley

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo, (Calyptorhynchus lathami) is a threatened species under State Government legislation, and is is one of Australia’s rarest cockatoos.

South East Queensland (SEQ) has some of the most significant populations in Australia. Unfortunately, increased urban growth in the region is having adverse effects on this beautiful bird.

Glossy black-cockatoo facts

  • Despite its name, the Glossy Black Cockatoo is not glossy. It is a dull brown-black colour with a red tail panel. Females have yellow markings on the head and neck.
  • The birds are extremely specialised feeders, feeding almost exclusively on the seeds of the cones of she-oaks (Casuarina and Allocasuarina).
    She-oak cones
    Chewed she-oak cones (‘orts’)
  • They tend to favour particular tree species and select specific trees and show fidelity to them over time. As such, the birds are only using a small part of the potential resource, which is often less than 1% of the available trees.
  • She-oaks and dead hollow-bearing trees are often regarded as 'rubbish trees' that are subsequently removed because of aesthetic and safety reasons.
  • Recognition of these resources is essential in order to protect feeding and breeding opportunities in SEQ.
  • The birds need large tree hollows (usually Eucalyptus species.) for breeding. Females lay only one egg every 2 years.
  • They range over a large area to obtain adequate food resources.

Report a sighting

If you have seen a Glossy Black Cockatoo or any other native animals (or found evidence of feeding), please report sightings to the Glossy Black Conservancy

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