Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo

A magnificent, very large, noisy cockatoo. Travels with buoyant

languid flight, slow deep wingbeats, often glides. At landing and at takeoff the tail shows intense red, orange or yellow.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo: female of south-western race Calyptorhynchus banksii naso, Darling Range , Bedfordale, WA. Female of this race has more red and orange in the tail, than more widespread eastern and northern races.

The MM Field Guide has illustrations of male, female, male in flight, map with races and population density, text. Guide pages 166/167)

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (male above, female at right) often display tail colours at takeoff and landing. The colours are most brilliant seen against the sun, tthe transmitted light giving a fiery brilliance framed by otherwise black plumage. Some races have orange or yellow on the barred tails of the females.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) It is this south-western race that is endangered by loss of forest habitat. Other Western Australian races, in the north-west and far north, are considered secure.

Video Action

Unless your internet access is by fast broadband service, this video may require appreciably longer to load than the still photos above. Video may be of vale when a bird's characteristic movements, in flight, running or feeding, are helpful in identification, or in separating from another species which is similar in appearance, but noticeably different in movement or behavior. Video display requires Apple Quicktime, a free download at

Calls from flying cockatoos differ from those given by these birds at afternoon rest . To hear sounds from ONE video at a tine, stop the other video by clicking the symbol || or stop its sound by moving its volume slide down until that vieo player is quiet. (both controls arenear bottom LH corner of player screen)

Above: A male Red-tailed Black Cockatoo spreads inrensely coloured tail wide as he dives away from a tall Blackbutt tree where he has been feeding. At right:A Red-tailed Black Cockatoo pair, female preening at left, male at right, spend heat of mid-day day resting on high shady perches.

This slow-breeding black cockatoo, together with the two white-tailed species, is considered endangered. These birds are now subject of long-term research by the Western Australian Museum. A public awareness programme, Cockatoo Care, is aimed at focussing attention upon their survival requirements. This is being supported by the Water Corporation, whose forest catchment areas are a vital part of the habitat for these birds. Further information: and