Forest Red-Tail 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.

With the scientific name Calyptorhynchus banksii naso, these birds are brownish black with the Female having a greyish-whte bill and orange yellow spots over her body.  The Male has a dark grey bill and a beautiful bright orange red tail band which is easily spotted when flying overhead.

The Forest Reds feed on Marri, Jarrah, Blackbutt, KIarri Sheoak and Snottygobble.  Also on some garden eucalypts and berries of introduced White Cedar (Cape Lilac).

There are five subspecies of Red-tailed Black cockatoos in Australia.  This one is only found in south-west WA from near Perth south to just east of Albany.

These flocks are now scarce or uncommon.  Their steady decline is due to:

  • destruction of forests
  • fires in spring breeding season,
  • feral European honeybees and other animals taking over their nest hollows
  • being hit by trucks/cars

These fabulous birds live between 25 – 50 years although the are slow breeders.

They nest in hollows of very oild Marri, Jarrah, Wandoo, Karri and Bullich trees.  One egg can take 29 – 31 days to hatch  with the female bird taking responsibility for nest incubation.  Then a further 18 months is needed for the young birds to learn to properly feed and take care of themselves.