Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos in Perth

Subject: Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos in Perth
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 12:59:25 +0800

About 4 years or so ago, there was a massive bushfire in the Darling Range along the Brookton Highway. It seemed to me that following the fire, Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos began to be reported much more commonly on the Swan Coastal Plain. I have seen them feeding on Marri trees and the introduced Cape Lilac which are both reasonably common on the SCP. They seem to have stayed on the SCP since. There have even been a couple of reports of them breeding, but I am uncertain whether this was nest holes, or just adults feeding juveniles (which may still have bred in the Darling Range).

Last year they seemed to spread out further with reports from Narrogin and Beverley on the eastern side of the Darling Range. There are some Marri trees extending that far out.

However, this year there has certainly been a large increase in sightings of RTBCs on the SCP including many Perth suburbs. I had some fly past my house in Nedlands (near King's Park) for the first time. Interestingly, WA has its annual Twitchathon on the second weekend in December. The two previous years we overnighted at Dwellingup in the Darling Range (up the hill from Pinjarra). RTBCs could be heard at every stop around Dwellingup. But this year they have almost deserted the area. Maybe to the SCP? Not certain why. This year has been wetter than most. Perhaps the Marri trees have not set fruit.

PS : They are the south west race "naso" known as the Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. The wheatbelt race "samueli" occurs much further out from Perth mainly to the north east and north.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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