ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Carnabys_-_vik_dunis_-_bushpea Carnaby's Cockatoo beak shape and Bushpea - Vik Dunis
  2. Carnabys_-_ray_wilson_bird___wildlife_photography Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo_Ray Wilson Wildlife Photography

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus latirostris

Appearance

Dull black cockatoo with pale feather margins; white patch on ear coverts and white panels in long tail, often exposed in flight. 

Male: bill black; eye-ring reddish; dull white ear patch, less distinct feather margins. 

Female: bill whitish; eye-ring grey; clear-white ear patch; broader pale margins to breast-feathers. 

Nest: decayed wood debris in large hollow in eucalypt, from near ground to over 20 m.

Behaviour

Breeding: Breeds in July to November. Breed in monogamous pairs, and nest in hollows in old eucalypts at least 100 years old to have hollows large enough. Pairs return to the same nest site each year. They lay one or two white eggs, which are incubated by the female. Both parents feed the chicks, but only the female broods them.

 Calling: loud, high, querulous (of a whining manner), drawn out, wheezy ‘ai-whiieer-la’ or ‘wy-ieeer-la’; the emphasis on the extended middle wail. Longer call than the Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo. With considerable experience, the calls can be helpful in separating the two WA white-tailed black-cockatoos. 

 Feeding: Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos mostly forage in trees, especially proteaceous plants such as Banksias, Hakeas and Dryandras, as well as eucalypts, tearing off the seed pods from the tree, holding them with the foot and breaking them open to extract the seeds within. They sometimes also often forage in pine trees and orchards. Occasionally they forage on the ground, especially in areas with the agricultural weed Erodium.

 

What to Observe

  • Presence
  • Courting/mating
  • Calling
  • Feeding
  • Bird on chicks
  • Bird on eggs
  • Bird on nest / in hollow
  • Bird feeding young

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect birds to start breeding and singing earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them, or if their food sources change with climate change.

According to Peter Mawson, principal zoologist with the Department of Environment and Conservation, the birds may be responding to climate change as increasing numbers are using the jarrah forest and the coastal plain (ABC South West WA, 2011)

Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

Look year-round for presence and July-November for breeding. 

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of seasonal life-cycle events so remember to keep a lookout outside of expected breeding periods!

Where To Look

Confined to South West WA , mostly within the Wheatbelt region—in places that receive over 300 mm (12 in) of rainfall yearly. The limits of its range include Cape Arid to the east, Lake Cronin, Hatters Hill and Lake Moore inland, and Kalbarri to the north.

Carnaby's black cockatoo is found in Eucalyptus woodland, most commonly of wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo) or salmon gum (E. salmonophloia). It is also found nearby pine plantations and sandplains or kwongan heath with abundant Hakea, Banksia, and Grevillea shrubs

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo compiled distribution map - BirdLife International

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo compiled distribution map - BirdLife International

Sightings

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  1. What Else?

    In WA, the Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo is very similar, being distinguished at close range by the shape of the bill (the bill is shorter and broader on Carnaby’s, barely extending below the tip of the lower mandible) and the exposure of the bill (the feathers of the cheeks often cover the lower mandible, obscuring its profile); and its calls (the contact calls of the Carnaby’s are said to be more drawn-out); Carnaby’s are usually in woodlands, while Baudin’s are usually in heavily forested areas, but there is some overlap.

    In WA, the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo (C. banksii) can be distringuished by the red panels in its tail-feathers and the lack of a cream-coloured patch on ear-coverts.

     

  1. Did You Know?

    Male Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos feed the female at her nest during the incubation period and fly over 12km to ensure she gets the food she needs during nesting. The birds display strong bonds with their partners throughout their adult life

    According to Peter Mawson, principal zoologist with the Department of Environment and Conservation, the birds may be responding to climate change, with more birds using the jarrah forest and coastal plain (ABC, 2011).

    Numbers have declined by more than 50 per cent in the last half century, he says, largely due to the extensive clearing of critical breeding habitat in the wheatbelt.

    The birds have good memories – some birds would turn up to locations of almond trees in metropolitan areas, almost to the day when the almonds were ripe. 

     

  1. Listen to the Call