Fun Glossy Black Cockatoo Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Tehil David
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One of the best glossy black cockatoo facts is they are usually are found in coastal woodlands in Australia.

The black cockatoo is one of Australia's most loved birds but the glossy black cockatoo, (Calyptorhynchus lathami) is perhaps the least familiar one in the family. The glossy black cockatoo is the smallest bird in the family of black cockatoos and an isolated population of glossy black cockatoos can be found on Kangaroo Island.

These sexually dimorphic birds (similar to the red-tailed black cockatoo) maintain a very selective diet of Allocasuarina verticillata seeds from trees that are also known as she-oaks. Glossy black cockatoos are the closest relatives to the red-tailed black cockatoo and resemble the bird to some extent.

Glossy black cockatoo nests are mostly built in eucalyptus trees and there are distinctive differences between male and female glossy black cockatoos in terms of color. Glossy black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) birds are found mostly in open forest and woodland habitats, but as previously mentioned, these birds are also found on Kangaroo Island in Australia,.

Their population is threatened due to habitat loss as a result of recent bushfires in Australia, putting them at risk of becoming endangered.

They are not loud birds but they make a subdued drawn-out call. Their calls are quieter than the more loud members of other bird species.

There are lots of different cockatoos living in the wild like the palm cockatoo and the cockatoo. You can check out some facts about them on Kidadl too!

Glossy Black Cockatoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a glossy black cockatoo?

Glossy black cockatoos are birds from the Cacatuidae family.

What class of animal does a glossy black cockatoo belong to?

Glossy black cockatoos come under the class of Aves and the classification of birds.

How many glossy black cockatoos are there in the world?

There is no exact number known of the population of glossy black cockatoos. But we do know that, as of 2019, there was a low population total of 370 of these birds living in the northern and western parts of Kangaroo Island.

Where does a glossy black cockatoo live?

The glossy black cockatoo lives in regions where its main food source (the casuarina drooping she-oak) is commonly found. These trees are most common in coastal woodlands, dry eucalypt forests, open inland woodlands, and forested watercourses.

What is a glossy black cockatoo's habitat?

Glossy black cockatoos require large tree hollows for nesting. Thye nest in both living and dead trees, mostly in eucalypt trees.

They were found widespread mostly in south-eastern Australia but they are now restricted to areas extending from the Eungella coast in eastern Queensland to Mallacoota in Victoria. They are also found inland from southern central Queensland through the central west of NSW to north-eastern Victoria.

The subspecies Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus are also known to live on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Who do glossy black cockatoos live with?

They are found in smaller groups rather than large flocks (unlike the subspecies of the yellow spotting black cockatoo). Among glossy black cockatoos, between three and 10 birds form a group and stay together.

How long does a glossy black cockatoo live?

The lifespan of these birds from eastern Australia ranges drastically, but it's said to be greater than 15 years and may sometimes reach up to 50 years.

How do they reproduce?

This species of bird mates for life and the pairs maintain their bond all year round. For breeding, the female prepares the nest hollow, lays a single white egg, and incubates the egg.

Females remain with the egg in the nest while males collect food for the female. The egg hatches after approximately 30 days and females leave the nest for finding food only after the hatchlings are at least one week old.

What is their conservation status?

The population of the glossy black cockatoo species has been classified as Least Concern for quite some time now in their native habitat.

Due to bushfires in Kangaroo Island, their habitat has been destroyed time and again and the nesting and breeding trees of eucalyptus and casuarina have all but vanished.

The bird is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and this makes the import, export, and trade of the subspecies illegal. They were not listed as threatened on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, but the native Kangaroo Island subspecies have been listed as endangered.

The species is also listed as vulnerable by the Environmental Protection Agency of Queensland.

Glossy Black Cockatoo Fun Facts

What does a glossy black cockatoo look like?

The bird is recognized by its brownish-black color and small crest. The bird has a brown-black neck, head, and underparts, with red tail panels on its dull black body.

Its crest is inconspicuous while its bill is broad and bulbous. Adult males have a few yellow feathers and a browner head and they also have bright red tail panels.

Adult females have extensive yellow patches on their head and neck and their tail panels are orange and become redder with age. A female adult also has a wider tail.

Young birds look more like adult males as they have yellow spotted or streaked breasts, bellies, and flanks, with yellow spots on side of their head and neck, and on their cheeks. They are camouflaged well because of the colors of their heads and bodies.

The glossy black cockatoo is from a family of cockatoo birds.

* Please note that this is an image of a black cockatoo, not a glossy black cockatoo specifically. If you have an image of a glossy black cockatoo please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

They are considered to be quite cute birds thanks to the beautiful colors on the body.

How do they communicate?

The calls of glossy black cockatoos are soft and gentle. Their calls are a repeat of the sound 'tarr-ed' and this is the main way in which they communicate with each other. Their cousins of the same species, red-tailed cockatoos, make a 'kree' sound which helps us to differentiate between these two species of birds.

How big is a glossy black cockatoo?

Glossy black cockatoos are around 18.1-19.6 in (46-50 cm) long and with a wingspan of  35.4 in (90 cm). It is the smallest species in its family of birds.

How fast can a glossy black cockatoo fly?

This cockatoo, like parrots, has long broad wings with yellow accents that are used to achieve rapid flight. Speeds of up to 43 mph (70 kmph) have been recorded by cockatoos to date but there is no known record of a glossy black cockatoo's flight speed specifically.

How much does a glossy black cockatoo weigh?

The average weight of a glossy black cockatoo ranges from 0.8-1.1 lb (400-500 g). This is the lowest weight in the family of cockatoos.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific different names of males and females. We do know that the scientific name of the bird is Calyptorhynchus lathami, and it has three different subspecies.

What would you call a baby glossy black cockatoo?

When an adult glossy black cockatoo has babies, they are called chicks.

What do they eat?

A glossy black cockatoo in its natural habitat almost exclusively feeds on the seeds of the mature casuarina tree.

They eat these drooping Allocasuarina seeds, so evidence of the presence of these birds can be found by the presence of a pile of chewed cones under these she-oaks (casuarina trees). These birds find the perfect casuarina tree for them to feed from and make their nests there for a long period of time.

The drooping oak has a high nutrient value and the beaks of glossy black cockatoos are strong enough to penetrate the cones and find the seeds inside.

Glossy black-cockatoos also eat seeds from eucalypts, angophoras, acacias, and hakeas trees on some occasions. If in need, they also feed on insect larvae found in casuarina and eucalyptus trees. They also feed on the seeds of the cypress pine tree in their natural habitat in NSW.

Are they dangerous?

No, these are not dangerous birds.

Would they make a good pet?

No, because the glossy black cockatoo flourishes in its natural habitat. It needs specific trees to feed on in order to live.

Did you know...

Forest fires in Victoria have made many of their natural habitats dangerous and lots of trees that they rely on for food have sadly burned down, putting the species at risk in the area. Kangaroo Island bushfires have also put the glossy black cockatoo at risk.

Glossy black-cockatoos are at risk of being eaten by feral cats and possums. Bird nest raiding often leads to these killings. They also have to fight honeybees to build their nests in the trees.

Many people believe that seeing a glossy black cockatoo represents the power of a spirit entering your life.

What seeds do black cockatoos eat?

Glossy black cockatoos normally feed on the seeds of the mature casuarina tree. These seeds have a high nutritious value.

How many hours of sleep does a cockatoo need?

These cockatoos need around 10-13 hours of sleep in a day.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the long-tailed tit or the jackdaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our glossy black cockatoo coloring pages.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David picture

Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

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