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12

Little Corella

(Cacatua sanguinea)
Alternate name(s): "Bare-eyed Cockatoo", "Blood-stained Cockatoo", "Short-billed Corella"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "gymnopsis": "djayarra", "bidira" (WA); "ngarritj"

Size: 36-39 cm
Weight: 370-630 g (525 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 Little Corella at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "sanguinea"

ADULT

Little Corellas sitting in a tree; one can see that there is hardly any pink between eye and bill (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Flock of Little Corellas sitting in a tree (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Near-lateral view of a Little Corella in flight
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of Little Corellas in flight
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2014]

Race "gymnopsis"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Little Corella
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Frontal view of a Little Corella (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra, NSW, April 2015]

Near-frontal portrait of a Little Corella (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gold Coast, QLD, May 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Little Corella
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Two Little Corellas in a huff about the presence of the photographer
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Frontal view of a Little Corella spreading its wings, exposing the prominent yellow tint of its underwings
[Gorokan, NSW, June 2011]

Lateral view of a Little Corella
[Gorokan, NSW, June 2011]

Lateral view of a Little Corella (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Lateral view of a Little Corella; note how, while in rest, the edge of the lower mandible fits into a groove in the upper one
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Little Corellas, race "gymnopsis", in WA (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Dianella, Perth, WA, December 2014]

Dorsal view of a Little Corella; the point of the upper mandible is pushed into the cavity of the lower one
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Little Corella reaching for a seed pod
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Little Corellas on the edge of a trough drinking on a hot summer's day
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2006]

Little Corellas on the edge of a trough drinking on a hot summer's day
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2006]

This Little Corella - and its mate - were observed by us at the end of winter; note the unusual pinkish-brown tint; we do not know whether this is due to old or dirty plumage or other causes
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Little Corella taking off from the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Boolardy Station, Murchison, WA, August 2016]

Pair of Little Corellas in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]

Little Corellas in flight seen from underneath
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Filthy-looking Little Corella at the end of winter, probably affected by PBFD (psittacine beak and feather disease)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2011]

Breeding information

Breeding season: May - Oct Eggs: 2 - 4 Incubation period: 24 days Fledging age: 42 - 56 days

The breeding season depends significantly on geographical latitude. Cockatoos are sociable creatures which often nest in loose colonies, also in conjunction with other species.

Two Little Corellas working on the production of the next generation
[O'Brien's Creek, Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2011]

A. Ross-Taylor reports Little Corellas breeding on the Gold Coast, QLD, in the 2014 breeding season.

Two Little Corellas inspecting a nesting hollow (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Gold Coast, QLD, July 2014]

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Woodchips Height above ground: 5 - 25 m

This Little Corella, seen in a River Red Gum, is preparing its nest for the upcoming breeding season
[O'Brien's Creek, Narrabri Lake, NSW, June 2012]

Little Corellas' version of "home, sweet home"... Hollow-nesting species such as cockatoos start selecting their new home early, before the start of the new breeding season (which is usually defined by the winter solstice)
[April 2017]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 35 x 25 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive/sedentary Elementary unit: Flock

Little Corellas are very sociable birds who prefer to live in large numbers.

There is now a separate page describing Little Corellas roosting on the ground.

As shown in some of the photos presented on this page, Little Corellas are often seen by us together with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (while in the past their ranges did not overlap).

Small flock of Little Corellas feeding
[Narrabri, NSW, September 2011]

"Little Corella tree"
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Flock of about 500-700 Little Corellas in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2011]

An example of peaceful (although not always quiet) co-habitation - a flock of Little Corellas, together with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
[Near Boggabri, NSW, 2006]

Here an example of playful behaviour shown by Little Corellas
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2011]

Little Corellas playing silly buggers...
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Here a flock of Little Corellas is seen foraging on a mudflat
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2014]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like basically all cockatoos, Little Corellas are seed-eaters, where seeds include those in cones and nut-like fruit, for example those of Acacea Salicina (see below). They also take grass seeds (and commercial crops).

Here one of the food sources of Little Corellas: the fruit of an Acacia salicina tree

Frontal view of a Little Corella feeding in an Acacia salicina; note the use of the upper mandible inside the lower one
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

This Little Corella and its mates were feasting on the seeds of a lemon-scented gumtree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2011]

Little Corella taking fruit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Regional Park, near Anstead, QLD, April 2017]

Little Corellas feasting on seed cones (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Even when disturbed, the Little Corellas and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos did not let go of their food (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Little Corellas raiding the wattle trees at the back of our property
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 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.

ltcorel_20140817.mp3 sanguinea
(Top End, NT)
Contact call © MD
ltcorel_20140817_2.mp3 sanguinea
(Top End, NT)
? (in flight) © MD
 
ltcorel_20140331.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
Q&A in flight © MD
ltcorel_20140917.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
In flight © MD
ltcorel_art_20131205.mp3 gymnopsis
(SE QLD)
In flight © ART
ltcorel_20140312.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
Large flock in flight © MD
ltcorel_20140404.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
Small flock passing over © MD
ltcorel_20140401.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
Various in flight © MD
ltcorel_20140401_1.mp3 gymnopsis
(NW NSW)
Various in flight © 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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