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Black Cockatoos

There are three species of black cockatoo in Western Australia, all of them under threat of extinction!

Carnaby’s Cockatoo

With its famous white tail and ‘wee-loo’ call, most people in Perth recognise this iconic species. They migrate back and forth from the Swan Coastal Plain where they feed during the summer, to the Wheatbelt where they breed in tree hollows during the winter. The only problem is, 90% of what is now the Wheatbelt used to be bushland, and this cockatoo is running out of places to breed and feed.

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Baudin’s Cockatoo

One of the two ‘forest cockatoo’ species, this bird also has a white tail but its call is closer to a ‘witch-a’ sound. This species eats a wide variety of foods; including native seeds, nuts, fruits and grubs. Much to orchardist’s disgust, Baudin’s cockatoos have discovered fruit orchards to be an easy meal. Although it is illegal to shoot these threatened species ($10,000 fine per bird), it’s still common practice by farmers and even some suburbanites that do it for fun.

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Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoo

A sub-species of the red tailed black cockatoo found all over Australia, this bird is only found in the forests of south-west Western Australia. Although the species as a whole is not under threat, each sub-species faces unique problems. In SW WA, land clearing for housing developments and feral animals (such as bees and rainbow lorikeets) taking over nesting hollows are playing a part in the decline of this bird.

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