Monday, April 19, 2010

Glossy Black Cockatoos

It’s a quiet noise. Click, click, click. I love it, as it tells me the glossy black cockatoos are enjoying the nuts from my she-oaks, (allocasuarina species). Unlike the English oak tree, there is nothing mighty about the Aussie she-oak, well at least not to a human eye. Many people see them as scrubby, rubbishy trees and they feel their patch of “nature” would look much better without them. So sadly they remove them, which is threatening the poor old glossy black.



Unlike the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, which dine on many tree species, including the introduced pine tree, the smaller, (about 50cm), quieter, red-tailed glossy black cockatoo feeds almost entirely on the seed cones of she-oaks.

I managed to gain a shot showing just a peak of the red feathers that make these birds so spectacular.  I have three I see fairly regularly and I do hope I keep seeing them into the future.  There are in great danger as not only are we removing the she-oaks they love, but too frequent fires are causing more trees to die and many of the large trees they need to breed in are being removed.  I sometimes hear people say that twice as many trees are being planted in forests as are being removed.  I don't know if that is true, but I do know that a glossy black needs a hollow several metres deep to breed in - that makes a breeding tree 150-200 years old - hmmm, not sure my guys will live that long.

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