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.

'Pete' Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

'Pete' Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

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©Leila Jeffreys 2012
Photograph on archival fibre based cotton rag paper
112 x 89 cm, 44 x 35 inch

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Pete is one of the few birds that did not need to be photographed in my portable bird studio. Instead he freely walked up and down a log that was brought in for the shoot. I had to move fast to keep up with him and he had so many great moves and expressions it was hard to keep him in focus.

As the shoot went on he got more and more excited, pulling out his best moves. He was one bird that was born for the stage – think Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special. There were a lot of impressive loud screeches, a crest that was so big sometimes you couldn’t see his beak, lots of dancing and flapping and general excitement about getting to perform.

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.

 

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