15 Cool Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Facts


15 Cool Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Facts

There are many exotic birds in the world of ours and they come with even cooler attributes than the typical birds you see flying around your neighborhood; and included in this realm of interesting birds is the red-tailed black cockatoo.

The Red-tailed black cockatoo is a large black cockatoo native to Australia in the drier parts of the continent. The adults have the physical trait of solid red feathers on their tail, which is what gives them their social name.

It’s an intriguing bird to learn about, so let’s take a closer look into the truth of the red-tailed black cockatoo.

1) Most Red-Tails Are Left Foot Dominant.

That’s right, most red-tailed black cockatoos will exclusively use their left foot for many reasons such as hunting for prey, picking up objects and other animals, feeding, and for fighting as well!

There are a few speculations for this characteristic including their left leg simply being stronger than their right, or a genetic hereditary trait that is passed down from cockatoo to cockatoo. In any case, you’ll notice that the red-tailed black cockatoo favors their left foot over their right.

However, the red-tails in the Northern region of Australia use both feet for these activities, especially feeding.

2) Love

Most red-tailed black cockatoos stay with the same partner and mate with them for life. This is because they find their mate once they are mature and begin mating with them as soon as they find each other.

The consummation ritual that they engage in when choosing their partner is what locks them into their relationship.

Their relationship is based on naturality, where the female stays in the nest to tend to it and their young, while the male goes out and hunts for food to bring back to their family. Hunting and feeding the female is how the male shows his love to the female.

3) Fruit Trees

Red-tailed black cockatoos don’t have many predators simply because of their size, which means they don’t have many threats to worry about…except for food.

Due to seasonal changes, animals will leave their hunting grounds or go underground to hibernate which limits their food supply. Interestingly, red-tails have adapted to this shortcoming and began to learn how to sustain themselves with fruit!

Not necessarily the body of the fruit, but seeds that are within it. The seeds are filled with the nutrients that they need to sustain their body, as long as they get a hefty supply of it.

4) Buloke Tree

Speaking of seeds, red-tailed black cockatoos love to create their livelihood in a special location called the Buloke Tree. It takes 100 years for this tree to become suitable for the red-tails to create their nest and live there – which shows how patient these birds are!

Additionally, the Buloke tree also supplies them with their favorite seed to forage and share with their family to eat; the only problem is that the Buloke seed is only available from January to March, and after that, it doesn’t create much crop.

5) The “Red-Tail”

The red-tails of the black cockatoo are not the same between males and females. Males tend to have a solid red strip or spot towards the body where the tail begins.

This is the defining feature of determining male from female. Females on the other hand tend to have tiger-like stripes that are reddish-orange instead of a bold red.

Also, female red-tail black cockatoos can have yellow spots on their wingspan, where the male red-tail is absent of this significant feature. This feature is said to be a genetic position that is only found in the female, and develops as they enter sexual maturity.

6) Sir Joseph Banks

Sir Joseph Banks is the naturalist that gave the red-tailed black cockatoo its formal name, Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne.

When we go more in depth, the scientific name is broken down like this: the genus, Calypto, which means “covered” rhynchus meaning “bill”; referring to the thick feathers that covers the bill of the bird.

Baskii is the species that was named in honor of Sir Joseph Banks because it is said that he was the first to investigate these fascinating birds while sailing with Captain James Cook from 1768 to 1771; Banks was simply translated into Banksii, and that’s how this bird received its species!

7) Adaptability

Although these birds prefer the Buloke tree the most, red-tailed black cockatoos are highly adaptable birds and are capable of nesting and living in any tree that is big enough for them to perch in and have a hollow that is wide enough to live in.

If the hollow is not big enough, they will make it big enough! They use their large beaks to chip away at the wood that’s inside of the small hollow to make it wider.

Creatively, the wood chips that are swiped away by the black cockatoo are then used as a cradle nest in which their egg will rest and be incubated once its time.

8) Pandemonium

As big as they are, you might think that the red-tailed black cockatoos are solitary birds, but you’d be wrong.

These birds often fly in very large flocks that can contain anywhere from 200 to 500 individual cockatoos! They form their flock based on migration patterns and safety precautions from larger birds that may want to prey on them.

They are social birds that like to be around each other, unless they have partnered up with their life mate. This flock is so large that when they are all in one group, they are referred to as a “pandemonium.”

9) Granivores

The red-tailed black cockatoo is a granivore, which means that they basically feed on the seeds that come from food trees.

These seeds can include fruit trees like apples, berries, or bananas, and can also include the seeds that produce pine cones.

In addition to grains and seeds, red-tailed black cockatoos will also feast on other soft vegetation such as pieces of whole fruit, nuts including walnuts and cashews – which is also one of their favorite seeds – bulbs, flowers (bloomed or unbloomed), as well as some small insects for obtaining the proper amount of protein for their body.

10) Behavior and Temperament

Red-tailed black cockatoos have a nice docile demeanor to them. They are not the type of bird to cause trouble with other animals and can be a suitable pet for anyone that finds them interesting enough.

They love being outside to forage for food, but they are capable of being inside of a house if it is large enough for them to spread their wings.

When they are in a new environment, they can become curious about their surroundings and begin to explore by picking at things with their claws and beak, and they can be quite loud at times out of natural instinct.

11) Health Concerns

Red-tailed black cockatoos have a particular and evident way of expressing when they are not feeling well.

Because of their environment, these birds are known to contract diseases such as psittacosis and other bacterial infections that negatively affect their gastrointestinal system and lungs.

You’ll be able to tell when they are coming down with an ailment based on physical attributes such as constant fluffing of their feathers, nasal discharge, odd behavior, and diarrhea.

12) Finding A Mate

Finding A Mate

When it comes to finding a mate, size does matter. Male red-tailed black cockatoos will use the crest of their feathers to attract a female for mating and life partner purposes.

When they are ready, they will fluff their feathers out to make themselves appear bigger, and then slowly raise the feathers on top of their head to as high as they can to show that they are a large and protective bird that can support a family.

The wider and higher their crest appears, the more likely they are to find and keep a mate.

13) Lifespan

With a proper diet and freedom to fly, red-tailed black cockatoos can live from a minimum of 25 years up to 50 years!

This fact is intriguing because it is one of the longest life spans for any bird to possess, and sometimes, these birds can even outlive their owners.

For them to reach their top age of life, they need room to grow and fly, as well as a proper diet, along with a mate that will give them a reason to keep living: having offspring, protecting their family, and providing for them.

14) Traditional Rain Makers

The Aboriginal people of Australia become very happy when they see a pandemonium of red-tailed black cockatoos because they have a traditional belief that these large parrots are a sign of rain to come.

When they see these birds, they will prepare their homes and lands for a large amount of rain to pour on them, which they appreciate because it helps to grow their crops for the dry season that comes on an annual basis.

15) Hard Beaks

The red-tailed black cockatoos beak is extremely dense and hard. They take advantage of this physical feature to open up hard shells that encase the seeds or nuts they need to survive.

In addition to using it for food, it also makes a solid weapon to fend off predators, or other competing cockatoos that want to invade their space, food, or family.

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