Long-billed vs Western Corella

Subject: Long-billed vs Western Corella
From: "Marieke Sandra Weerheim" <>
Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2008 06:15:56 +0100
Yesterday a single long-billed species of Corella alighted on the telephone wires, a bit away from the 20+ little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea) that come to my house around dusk every night.

This bird had a bill with a long fine tip, a grey-blue eyering and a minimal amount of red on the throat. My first impression was Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator) since I see the introduced Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris) every week on the Northern foreshore of the Swan river and it looked different from them: more "delicate" and its bill less heavy.

The fact that is was a lone bird in a group of littles, while the eastern long-bills always operate in groups of 6-8 made me suspect this was a single vagrant Western long-bill. Sadly, it did not call (hence did not seem to be on speaking terms with the littles) so I could not compare the sound with the BOCA recordings.

However, none of my four bird books could give me a conclusive answer and they are somewhat contradictory when it comes to eye ring colour (grey blue or marine blue?) amount of red on the throat (none at all or a minor "cut throat") and amount and location of yellow on underside of tail and wings.

Can anyone give me a fail-safe checklist of features to distinguish between the true Western long-bill C. pastinator and the "imposters" C. tenuirostris? I'm going crazy here!

Live Search, for accurate results!


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