King Island Natural Resource Management

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Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo

Yellow Tailed Black CockatooCalyptorhynchus funereus

Length: 55-65 cm

Identification: Unmistakable, large black cockatoo with large yellow panel in long tail and yellow ear patch. Male: Bill blackish and eye-ring reddish-pink. Female: Bill whitish, eye-ring grey and brighter yellow ear-patch.

Habits: Pairs, family trios, flocks of up to 50 or more in autumn-winter. Forages at all levels of vegetation from ground to tree canopy. Feeds on seeds and extracts wood-boring insect larvae by ripping open branches and trunks of trees. Flies with slow flapping flight. Twists and glides through trees exposing yellow tail panel. 

Habitat: Dry and wet eucalypt forest, King Island scrub, coastal heath, exotic conifer plantations and shelter. Extracts seeds of Allocasuarina and Banksia in scrub and heath and seeds from cones of Pinus radiata. Nests in large, deep, often vertical, hollows in trunks of large, old trees.

Range and Status: Widespread. Uncommon breeding resident. High conservation status. King Island population may be declining. 

Special Management: Monitor size, age and sex of population in autumn-winter. Erect nest-boxes.