Biloela Wild Cockatoos

Biloela Wild Cockatoos series by Leila Jeffreys. Gang-Gang Cockatoos live in small flocks in the south east of Australia. They set up supervised crèches for their young so parents can take turns feeding away from the nest site. Juvenile male Red-tailed Black Cockatoos resemble females until puberty, which occurs at around four years of age, but have paler yellow barred underparts. As the birds reach maturity, males gradually replace their yellow tail feathers with red ones.

'Akalla' Glossy Black Cockatoo

'Akalla' Glossy Black Cockatoo

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©Leila Jeffreys 2012
Photograph on archival fibre based cotton rag paper

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Glossy Blacks are neither particularly glossy nor very black. The common name is a bit misleading. The Glossy Black Cockatoo is a dusty brown colour but in sunlight this can have a glossy sheen to it. The females like Akalla have distinctive yellow patches of feathers on their heads that set them apart from the males.

Glossy Blacks used to be regular visitors to Sydney but with the loss of their habitat their numbers have fallen. If you do get to meet one, they are not easily disturbed when feeding; they will let you stand quite close to them. When they feed they sit very quietly, the only noise you will hear is the soft sound of cracking cones. People often do not even realise they are in their company because unlike their noisy cousins, the Glossy Black is a very quiet Cockatoo.

The first time I met Akalla she had a virus and wasn’t herself. The second time she was still and calm, a very gentle bird.

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