Black Cockatoos

To: "'Cog line'" <>
Subject: Black Cockatoos
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 13:55:35 +1100

Gday Anthony


So far as I’m concerned you’d need an expert to age this bird.  I’m confident that it’s not a male (eye ring) or (probably) an adult female (bill colour – not ‘bone white’).


These birds are not ‘black’.  They are ‘blackish-brown’, the colour appearing browner when exposed to strong light, whether sunlight or flash.


I can report the following about it:


·          Giving a repeated rasping call that might be labelled ‘begging’ or ‘complaining’ (consider courtship begging)

·         Tail markedly shorter – by about a quarter – than other adults in party (query moult)

·         Eye-ring grey-black

·         Bill grey-white, marked darker grey

·         Some outer undertail coverts  marked on outer side (not tipped) pale yellow



More detailed images below.  G



ytbc J comp.jpg



From: Overs, Anthony (REPS) [
Sent: Monday, 19 February 2007 10:45 AM
To: Geoffrey Dabb; Cog line
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Black Cockatoos


Geoffrey, how browner does the plumage look compared to an adult, and how much is this bird affected by your flash (assuming that the glint in his eye is flash)?


The guides say young ones have a grey eye ring, similar to an adult female, and the plumage is browner with the pale feather margins more prominent.


I remember delivering a road-killed YTBC to Dick Schodde at the ANWC. It looked like a young brown-ish bird to me. Dick, without even blinking, said it was a young male. I can’t remember how he picked the sex of a young one.




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