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12

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

(Calyptorhynchus lathami)
Alternate name(s): "Leach's Black Cockatoo", "Casuarina Cockatoo"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "lathami": "bilirr" [gamilaraay]

Size: 46-50 cm
Weight: 435 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Glossy Black-Cockatoo at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "lathami"

ADULT

MALE

Close-up lateral portrait of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, near Gilgandra, NSW, August 2016]

Frontal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, near Gilgandra, NSW, September 2013]

Near-frontal view of a male (see solid red tail patches) Glossy Black-Cockatoo with yellow feathers on its head in a casuarina
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Near-frontal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Nerang NP, QLD, October 2013]

Lateral view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo in a casuarina
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Lateral view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo in a casuarina, different posture
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Lateral view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo with yellow feathers on its head in a casuarina
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Lateral view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Nerang NP, QLD, October 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, near Gilgandra, NSW, September 2013]

Two male Glossy Black-Cockatoos (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Nerang NP, QLD, October 2013]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Glossy Black-Cockatoo
[Pilliga NR, NSW, March 2009]

Frontal view of a female Glossy Black-Cockatoo clambering up a Casuarina (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, Gilgandra, NSW, August 2016]

Lateral view of a female Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, near Gilgandra, NSW, July 2014]

Lateral view of a female Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Watercourse Wetlands, NSW, April 2014]

Female Glossy Black-Cockatoo preening
[Pilliga NR, NSW, March 2009]

Male, right, and female, left, Glossy Black-Cockatoo in flight; note that the male has some yellow feathers on its neck
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of a male, left, and immature, right, Glossy Black-Cockatoo in a casuarina
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Immature Glossy Black-Cockatoo struggling to keep its balance
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Immature Glossy Black-Cockatoo in flight
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

Immature Glossy Black-Cockatoo nibbling on a casuarina seed
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, November 2013]

One Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeding the other - it is not clear why the birds went down onto the ground; it was raining at the time, which makes the rock surface reflect in a bluish-grey tint
[Pilliga NR, NSW, March 2009]

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are very elegant gliders (I)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2005]

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are very elegant gliders (II)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2005]

Race "erebus"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeding on the seeds of a casuarina
[Mt. Archer NP, QLD, July 2009]

Lateral view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeding on the seeds of a eucalypt
[Near Kroombit Tops NP, QLD, July 2009]

FEMALE

Female Glossy Black-Cockatoo in flight, displaying the speckled, glossy plumage that gives them their name
[Near Kroombit Tops NP, QLD, July 2009]

Pair of Glossy Black-Cockatoo in flight (female upper-left, male lower-right)
[Near Kroombit Tops NP, QLD, July 2009]

Race "halmaturinus"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male (see solid red tail patches) Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Near-frontal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Near-frontal view of a male Glossy Black-Cockatoo, now seen preening (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

While preening, this male Glossy Black-Cockatoo clearly displays its solid red tail panels (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile or immature Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Lateral view of a juvenile Glossy Black-Cockatoo begging for food (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Dorsal view of an immature or juvenile Glossy Black-Cockatoo (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Dorsal view of an immature or juvenile Glossy Black-Cockatoo; while trying to get a solid foothold, it is displaying prominently its barred bright-red tail panels (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lathami Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/family clan

When courting a female, the male Glossy Black-Cockatoo intonates a monotonous song reminiscent (to humans) of a car alarm. Upon the last intonation of the refrain, which increases in volume, the male bows and displays his crest and the red patches on the underside of its tail to the female (see photo). After a few seconds, and possibly after a move to a more advantageous point, the whole routine starts all over.

Male courting female, displaying his crest and the conspicuous red panels on his tail. Photographed against the bright light of the background sky, the birds appear to be darker than they are in reality
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, 2005]

Similar to other cockatoo species, Glossy Black-Cockatoos also show playful behaviour, like the male bird in the photo below.

Male Glossy Black-Cockatoo doing a somersault

Food, Diet

Adults: Casuarina seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like basically all cockatoos, Glossy Black-Cockatoos are seed-eaters. They have a strong preference for the cones of casuarinas ("She-oaks").

Close-up view of a Glossy Black-Cockatoo cracking a Casuarina seed cone (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, Gilgandra, NSW, August 2016]

Male Glossy Black-Cockatoo chewing on a casuarina seed cone
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2006]

Female Glossy Black-Cockatoo with the same pastime
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2006]

Immature male Glossy Black-Cockatoo chewing on a casuarina seed; note the size and strength of the bill, enabling them to crack these hard seeds (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Nerang NP, QLD, October 2013]

Contrary to other birds eating cones of conifers, Glossy Black-Cockatoos do not crack casuarina ("She-oak") cones to extract the seeds, but instead eat the whole lot. Below a close look at such a cone, which is about 10 mm long.

Casuarina seed cone

Glossy Black-Cockatoos drinking from a waterhole
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, July 2011]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

glossy_20141210.mp3 lathami
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
glossy_20150205_1.mp3 lathami
(NW NSW)
Answering call? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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