Glossy Black-Cockatoo Click to enlarge image
Glossy Black-Cockatoo Image: David Cook
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lathami
    Genus
    Calyptorhynchus
    Family
    Cacatuidae
    Order
    Psittaciformes
    Class
    Aves
    Phylum
    Chordata
  • Size Range
    Up to 48 cm

Introduction

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo has a large dull black body, bulbous bill, red tail panels.


What do Glossy Black-Cockatoos look like?

Identification

Brown-black head, neck and underparts, with red or orange-red tail panels and a dull black body. Crest is small and inconspicuous; the bill is broad and bulbous. Females have yellow patches on the head and neck and tail panels are more orange-red with black bars.

Male tail panels tend to be bright red. Young birds have yellow spotted or streaked breasts, bellies and flanks, with some yellow spots on the cheeks and sides of the head.


Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus lathami. Image: Geoff Walker
CC BY-NC 4.0

Where do Glossy Black-Cockatoos live?

Habitat

Woodland dominated by Allocasuarina and in open forests. Often confined to remnant Allocasuarina patches surrounded by cleared farmlands.

Distribution

There are three recognised subspecies of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo. The Glossy Black-Cockatoo as it occurs on Kangaroo Island is recognised as subspecies Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus and is a threatened species.

The south-eastern subspecies C. l. lathami found from south-eastern Queensland to eastern Victoria is also a threatened species. A third subspecies found in the coastal areas of central-eastern Queensland is subspecies C. l. erebus.



What do Glossy Black-Cockatoos eat and how do they mate?

Feeding and diet

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo's diet is almost exclusively Allocasuarina seeds.

Breeding behaviours

Quieter and less raucous than other black-cockatoos, they can be detected by the clicking of their bills and the falling debris of casuarina cones and twigs. These birds mate for life, with pairs maintaining their bond all year round. The female prepares the nest hollow and incubates the eggs, only leaving the nest to feed after the newly-hatched nestlings are a week old. Males feed the female and nestlings throughout the incubation and brooding period.


Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus lathami. Image: deborod
CC BY-NC 4.0

Are Glossy Black-Cockatoos endangered?

Conservation status

The Kangaroo Island subspecies is listed as Endangered, and the south-eastern subspecies is listed as Vulnerable.