Black-Cockatoos Around Perth

Subject: Black-Cockatoos Around Perth
From: "Albert Low" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 17:52:16 +0800
Hi All,
        As many of you know, I am new to Perth, but at the same time, have
birded around the region on prior family holidays. Hence I was extremely
thrilled when walking back to my residence along MacLeod Road, Applecross
this evening at around 5pm, I observed a flock of 4 Black-Cockatoos feeding
on the roadside trees (unfortunately I am clueless to their identity) that
lined the entire road. The trees were fruiting and there were clumps of
oval-shaped seed pods which the Cockatoos tucked into with relish. I even
had time to go back to my room, take out my bins, and observe them for 20
minutes or so. The only problem is, I don't know which they are =X.

        I understand from literature that Short-billed or Carnaby's is
regular around Perth, whereas Boudin's or Long-billed is found in the Karri
Forests in the Southwest. As a matter of fact, I believed I had seen a flock
of Long-billed in the forests near Walpole, albeit distantly through the
telescope, back in 2003. However, I also understand that there is an overlap
region between the 2 species, and this is where my question lies. The group
consisted of 2 males and 2 females. However, in my ignorance I did not
realise initially that those with pinkish iris and dusky ear-patches were
males. I nevertheless focused on the females first, and with prior knowledge
that bill length was the only way to tell them apart, almost solely tried to
view the bills in the best light possible. Although, they were feeding
actively, I noted that both females had what I believe were "short" bills,
in that when their bills were closed there was little if not no protrusion
of the hooked upper mandible.

        Moving on to the males, I encountered the primary dilemna. 1 of the
males in particular appeared to have a "long" bill whereby when his bill was
fully closed, the hooked upper mandible appeared to protrude beyond the
mouth itself. However, the other male did not display such a feature. With
this in mind, is there any possibility that the 2 species could overlap and
flock together to feed in the suburban gardens of the Applecross Suburb, or
was it just observation error on my part and that the 1 individual was just
a "different" Carnaby's? I am not familiar with Carnaby's because looking
back at my notes I have never seen them prior to this encounter & would
appreciate any input from birders who are familiar with them.

        Regardless, it was thrilling to see a state-endangered & globally
threatened species of Cockatoo in literally my own backyard. Aside from my
question, I thought this would be an interesting record and have posted it
here in case anyone is monitoring the populations of the species.

Best Regards,

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