Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos - A Diamond Beach Bird Watching Favourite

A bird watching favourite, Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos are one of the largest of Australias native parrots. There are actually six species of Australian Black Cockatoos and the Yellow Tailed black Cockatoo is very easily spotted with its clear yellow cheek patch and yellow tail panels. Small flocks of these Cockatoos are regular visitors to the pine trees of Sea Horse Diamond Beach, feeding on their pine cones and ‘serenading’ us with their drawn out, distinctive ‘kee-ow’ call.

Yellow tailed Black Cockatoos are quite cautious birds and allocate a ‘guard or watch bird’ – one bird that stays on watch whilst other flock members make their way down to water or food. This watch bird is relieved when another has had their fill.

Photos courtesy of Diamond Beach Photographer Glen Golby.

The first tracking study of Black Cockatoo populations - recently undertaken by Sydney Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands – has shown that there is a false public impression that populations of Black Cockatoos along the east coast are doing quite well. This is in fact, incorrect. Tree hollows, which the cockatoo lines with eucalyptus leaves, are the birds preferred nesting sites and the decline of available nesting hollows in old trees (particularly in old growth forests) is directly impacting their breeding activities. These birds have a long breeding season, with usually only one chick surviving each season.

Black Cockatoos have an interesting ‘say’ in local weather folklore. It is said that when Black Cockatoos fly in from the hills to the coast, rain is on the way. And that each bird in the flock equals one days rain!

Perhaps you'll get to experience the Black Cockatoos visiting when you come and stay at Sea Horse Diamond Beach too.

See you on the beach

Dianne

References: www.smh.com.au www.ecosystem.unsw.edu.au www.australianmuseum.net.au/yellow-tailed-black-cockatoo

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