White-Tailed Black Cockatoo

There are two kinds of white-tailed black cockatoo – Baudin’s Cockatoo and Carnaby’s Cockatoo !!!

They are endemic to the south-west corner of Western Australia. They form a very conspicuous part of the avifauna, with their large flocks and their distinctive wailing calls.

Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo are more similar and are often mistaken for each other. The body feathers of both species are brownish-black, with narrow off-white tips, making the feathers look scalloped when viewed at close range. They have white patches on their cheeks and white panels on the tail that are particularly visible during flight. The males of both species are distinguished by red eye rings and black bills, while both females have grey-black eye rings and bone coloured bills. Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos look so superficially similar that they were considered the same species until 1979, despite differences in bill shape, call, diet and movements.

The two species are very difficult to tell apart, especially in the Perth hills area where both species regularly occur and sometimes feed and roost close together. Their bill size and shape and their different contact calls are the most reliable means of identification. Baudin’s Cockatoo has a long, narrow upper bill and makes a short “whicha-whicha” and “bunyip-bunyip” flock call whereas Carnaby’s Cockatoo has a short, thick upper bill and has a longer “weeeloo-weeeloo” flock call.

%d bloggers like this: