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Canberrans asked to help spot the threatened and messy glossy black cockatoo

Glynis Quinlan 15 June 2018 57
Canberrans are being asked to help plot the locations of the threatened glossy black cockatoo. Photo by Kerri-Lee Harris.

Canberrans are being asked to help plot the locations of the threatened glossy black cockatoo. Photo: Kerri-Lee Harris.

Canberra birdwatchers, walkers and community members are being asked to be on the lookout for the threatened glossy black cockatoo during its current breeding season.

The ACT Government is asking for help in mapping the location of these small birds and the task shouldn’t be too difficult given they are such noisy, messy eaters!

ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman said the glossy black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami) are one of the more threatened species of cockatoo in Australia and are listed as vulnerable in NSW and the ACT.

“In conjunction with a NSW Government Saving Our Species program, we would like a better understanding of just how many of these cockatoos are left in our region and where are their important habitats,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Glossy black cockatoos are considerably smaller than the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, which is the only other black cockatoo in our area.

“They also have red or orange-red tail feathers and short tails. Females have a variable amount of yellow on their necks and head.

“The birds feed almost exclusively on allocasuarina fruit (often called ‘she-oak cones’). In the wider Canberra region, its occurrence is closely tied to the presence of drooping she-oak.”

Mr Gentleman said that one or two of the birds or even small groups will sit quietly, chewing on the fruit – sometimes remaining in the same tree for hours.

“In fact, the squeaking and cracking of their feeding is often the first indication of their presence,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Such feasting also leaves tell-tale evidence long after they’ve gone in the form of the scattering of torn allocasuarina fruit on the ground below.”

You can often tell the glossy black cockatoos are around by the squeaking and cracking noise made while they are eating. Photo by Kerri-Lee Harris.

You can often tell the glossy black cockatoos are around by the squeaking and cracking noise made while they are eating. Photo: Kerri-Lee Harris.

To date, the hotspots for observing glossy black cockatoos in the local region include Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura, Rob Roy Range Nature Reserve and the Burra area.

However, in recent years they have been seen in other areas such as Goorooyarroo, Gossan Hill, Pinnacle and Molonglo Gorge nature reserves.

People seeing the glossy black cockatoo anywhere in the ACT or south-east NSW are asked to report their sighting via the community wildlife platforms, Canberra Nature Map (ACT and surrounding NSW local government areas), Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness (far NSW south coast) or Budawang Coast (Shoalhaven area).

In reporting the sighting, try to include the location, the number of birds (including sex and age if known) and their behaviour at the time. Also try to photograph the birds, as even an image from a distance may be sufficient to confirm the identification.

“We would also appreciate sightings of the glossy black cockatoos feasting aftermath to be posted on these community platforms,” Mr Gentleman said.

For further information please go to the Canberra Nature Map or Atlas of Life websites.


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57 Responses to Canberrans asked to help spot the threatened and messy glossy black cockatoo
Stuart Roesler Stuart Roesler 12:23 am 17 Jun 18

Hundreds out at Kowan forrest

nealg nealg 12:21 am 17 Jun 18

For the people saying they have seen them in the pine forests I think you are all probably seeing the Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos.
The Glossy Blacks are much rarer and only feed on one type of casurarina, the allocasuarina, not pine cones.
They also have a different call to the Yellow Tailed.

David Fuller David Fuller 11:08 pm 16 Jun 18

Always see them out at the Majura pine plantation

Samantha Linde Samantha Linde 10:31 pm 16 Jun 18

Marnie Evers are these what are in the pines near your place or are they the yellow tailed ones??

Kayla Hammond Kayla Hammond 10:05 pm 16 Jun 18

Pascal Zimmermann are these the birds we saw with Nicole?

    Pascal Zimmermann Pascal Zimmermann 10:19 pm 16 Jun 18

    Nah I think they are different. A previous comment further up said something "not to be confused with the very common yellow tailed black cockatoo" and I'm fairly certain the ones we saw had yellow under their tail

Megan Lynne Megan Lynne 9:46 pm 16 Jun 18

Barbara Hennig have you seen any?

    Barbara Hennig Barbara Hennig 11:58 pm 16 Jun 18

    Yes, flying high above Holt heading over towards MacGregor.

Nicole Fitzgerald Nicole Fitzgerald 9:19 pm 16 Jun 18

They are located in the pine trees in the centre of SHACKLETON Circuit Mawson and also in pine trees reserve behind Shackleton Circuit onto Yamba drive. How can we protect them and future proof their habitat from development? The RiotACT

    Glynis Quinlan Glynis Quinlan 9:33 pm 16 Jun 18

    A good place to start would be to click on the link provided at the end of the article and provide this information about their location.

    Nicole Fitzgerald Nicole Fitzgerald 9:19 am 17 Jun 18

    Thank you, I missed the last link.

Troy Summerfield Troy Summerfield 8:57 pm 16 Jun 18

Not to be confused with the very common yellow tailed black cockatoo.

    Sar Cullen Sar Cullen 9:43 pm 16 Jun 18

    🙌 I think this needs to be made more clear.

    Mick Mason Mick Mason 8:57 am 17 Jun 18

    Yes, the map is going to be useless if everyone adds yellow tails as glossies

Helen Holloway Helen Holloway 8:40 pm 16 Jun 18

They have been flying over the Holt area near Pegasus recently fourp of between five and ten

    Darren Mallett Darren Mallett 9:49 pm 16 Jun 18

    Sure they’re not the yellow tailed? Haven’t seen glossies over here.

    Helen Holloway Helen Holloway 11:54 am 17 Jun 18

    Not sure have seen black ones and they are very noisy.....just thought maybe???

Jody Maree Harrison Jody Maree Harrison 7:38 pm 16 Jun 18

Cute never seen one before

Stephanie Kam Fong Mei Stephanie Kam Fong Mei 7:33 pm 16 Jun 18

Heaps at the pine trees at the border of Yowani Golf Club and the Sanctuary closer to its South end

Sonia Norton Sonia Norton 7:18 pm 16 Jun 18

I see the black cockatoo fly over curtin oval in the mornings daily. Theres normally about 6 of them.

Penny Veale Penny Veale 7:15 pm 16 Jun 18

We a have a large number are the back of Evatt . Near new mckellar

Andrew Hamilton Andrew Hamilton 7:14 pm 16 Jun 18

See these guys on stromlo and out at sparrow

Duncan Hinton Duncan Hinton 7:07 pm 16 Jun 18

We have heaps in the pine trees around holt golf course

Jane Fleming Jane Fleming 5:38 pm 16 Jun 18

All around Mawson

Helene Dowdle Helene Dowdle 5:26 pm 16 Jun 18

Red Hill

Kim Williams Kim Williams 5:10 pm 16 Jun 18

There are 4 black cockatoo’s that turn up every few days in the reserve area off Dunstan Street in Curtin (between Jennings Street and Morehead Street).

Tom McCue Tom McCue 5:00 pm 16 Jun 18

Just go to the Arboretum and you will see quite a lot. I also played golf at West Belconnen a few weeks ago and there was a large number of them there.

Terry West Terry West 4:54 pm 16 Jun 18

Often see these birds in the pine trees on the CSIRO land on the Kuringa drive end of Owen Dickson Drive

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