Bird of the Month July: Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Bird of the Month July: Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

It's Yellow-tailed black cockatoo in Sydney season! Yes, YTBCSS is among us and we are LOVING it. These hungry muppets roam the city looking for food each Autumn and can be spotted in lots of places including Bronte and Centennial Park.

Our favorite place to see them is in the park because when we're done, we can swing by and say hello to all the flying foxes and wetland birds too. We had an especially good rendezvous with them this weekend -- after following two flying yellow-tailed black cockatoos into a forest on the side of the park that we would normally never go into, all of a sudden there was a flock of fifty. Flying, snacking, shrieking, and dropping pine cones from the sky like fools. We were in heaven. 

There's nothing quite like a yellow-tailed black cockatoo with their sweet yellow cheeks and graceful flying. We stayed a long time, me on camera and Amy on binoculars, just observing them. One had a solar tracker on its back, part of a program to track them to understand their movements and habits. Several were just chilling in the trees, pruning another, but the majority were snacking. up. a. storm. like the whole world was an all you can eat buffet.

It was no joke. Pine cones were falling out of the trees every few seconds and we had to make sure we always stood underneath a patch of blue sky through the canopy so we didn't get hurt. At one point, an innocent crested pigeon wandered into the forest from the field, then backed out slowly like it had just entered the wrong apartment which happened to have people sitting at a table counting large sums of cash. Eventually, we wandered out too, and in thinking which bird we wanted to feature for our first bird of the month post, we were unanimous on the Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Here's why and some stats:

Why: It's iconic, elegant and a reminder of the amazing CITES protected parrot life that Australia has. Plus it has those cute yellow cheeks.


STATS:

Found: South-East Australia
Size: 55-65 cm (that's 22-26 inches for any non-metric system readers out there)
Diet: Grubs and seeds
Sleeps: High up in Eucalypt trees
Breeds: in Autumn, roosts in tree hollows
Where to find in Sydney: May-June, Centennial Park (pine trees) and along the coast.


Birdwatching in the Blue Mountains in Winter - Mt. Tomah Botanic Gardens

Birdwatching in the Blue Mountains in Winter - Mt. Tomah Botanic Gardens

Hello New Friend - Welcome to Sydney Bird Club :)

Hello New Friend - Welcome to Sydney Bird Club :)

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