Fun Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 08, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Red-tailed black cockatoo facts are fun to know.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

Are you interested in learning cool facts about a specific type of cockatoo? In this article, you will learn about the beautiful red-tailed black cockatoo.

The red-tailed black cockatoo is a parrot-like bird, native to the Australian mainland. The scientific name for this species of bird is Calyptorhynchus banksii.

They belong to the family Cacatuidae of the order Psittaciformes. They are only found in parts of Australia, particularly in the northern territory and western Australia.

They look similar to parrots, except that this cockatoo is covered in thick black plumage and has large wings, which help it to fly high in the sky. Males of the species are identified by the bright red panels on the tail, while females are covered in yellow spots across the body.

The birds live in the hollows of old trees and rely on seeds and grains for food. They prefer woodlands and forests and areas close to water sources.

Breeding occurs once a year when these monogamous birds lay eggs in tree hollows, high above the ground, and these eggs hatch to give birth to chicks.

The female is responsible for feeding each young chick in its initial days. This gregarious cockatoo is long-lived and can make for an excellent pet.

In the wild, they live in flocks and only venture out for food. Their strong bill helps them to tear open seed buds.

Though these birds are not exactly predators, they are known to eat the larvae of some small insects. They return to their hollows during sunset and spend the rest of the day idly in one place.

These birds are threatened by forest fires and deforestation, which has led to a great decline in their population. Some subspecies like Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne (the south-eastern red-tailed black cockatoo) are even considered Endangered.

Read on to learn more about these amazing birds and if you like this article, then check out our purple finch and pileated woodpecker facts too.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red-tailed black cockatoo?

The red-tailed black cockatoo is a large bird of the Cacatuidae family of the order Psittaciformes.

What class of animal does a red-tailed black cockatoo belong to?

This bird belongs to the class Aves of the animal kingdom.

How many red-tailed black cockatoos are there in the world?

There are more than 100,000 red-tailed black cockatoos currently living in the world. Their population is gradually decreasing, owing to widespread deforestation, forest fires, and the destruction of their habitat.

One of the subspecies of the Australian red-tailed black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne ( C. b. graptogyne), is facing the risk of becoming endangered as there are only 1000 of these birds left on earth.

Where does a red-tailed black cockatoo live?

These birds are commonly seen across Australia. They are found in all the mainland states. This widespread species is most common in western and northern Australia and western Victoria.

What is a red-tailed black cockatoo's habitat?

The bird species is found across a wide variety of habitats. They prefer the forests and woodlands of Australia, which are home to a large variety of eucalyptus and casuarinas.

Their diet primarily consists of seeds from the hard seed pods of these plants. These cockatoos prefer places by the riverside and water sources.

Red-tailed black cockatoos are often seen to fly in flocks to areas with abundant food sources. They are not restricted to any specific habitat and can also be seen in some towns and cities. These cockatoos are also spotted in grasslands, wetlands, and floodplains.

They make nests in the tree hollows of marri, jarrah, and karri trees. The five subspecies of red-tailed cockatoo birds each prefer a distinct habitat type.

Who does a red-tailed black cockatoo live with?

Red-tailed black cockatoos are sociable animals, who are mostly spotted in large flocks of over 50 birds. They mostly stay together in flocks but are sometimes noticed in small groups of two or three.

How long does a red-tailed black cockatoo live?

These Australian birds are long-lived and their lifespan ranges between 25 and 50 years.

How do they reproduce?

Birds of this species are monogamous and reproduce by laying eggs. Breeding season ends with the females laying eggs in the tree hollows.

One or two white eggs are laid in secure nestling hollows of old trees, at a height of several hundred meters above the ground. The chicks hatch out of these eggs.

When the chicks are just born, only the females of the species incubate and feed them. However, as the young birds grow, both parents are involved in feeding and both the male and female take care of their young.

What is their conservation status?

Red-tailed black cockatoos have been listed as Decreasing in number by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List. Their number has drastically reduced by almost 30% in the last 60 years, owing to fragmentation, wildfires, and widespread logging.

The south-eastern subspecies and the subspecies found in South Australia (the forest red-tailed black cockatoo) are facing the threat of extinction.

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo Fun Facts

What does a red-tailed black cockatoo look like?

The red-tailed black cockatoo is a parrot-like bird, who is native to the Australian mainland, particularly to northern and western Australia. The black red-tailed cockatoo has thick black plumage and a strong bill. Males have bright red feathers across the tail.

Female members of the species have yellow spots or bars across the body, particularly on their heads, neck, and chest. The yellow spots separate females from male members, as males lack any such yellow coloration on the body.

The feathers in the tails of females are pale red. Male birds have a dark gray bill and females have an off-white one. Males and females both have dark brown eyes and brown to gray feet.

Red-tailed black cockatoos are noisy birds.

How cute are they?

These colorful birds are like parrots but are bigger and even more beautiful. They are very cute, with their bright red tail panel or yellow markings across the body.

How do they communicate?

Not much research has been completed on how these birds communicate. However, since they are cockatoos, it can be assumed that they communicate the same way as most cockatoos do. As loud and vocal as they are, these Australian birds squawk to communicate with other members, like the parrots. This squawking is often accompanied by loud screaming.

How big is a red-tailed black cockatoo?

The red-tailed black cockatoo is about 23.4 in (60 cm). These birds are slightly bigger than glossy black cockatoos, which range in size from 17.71-19.68 in (45-50 cm). Glossy black cockatoos are the smallest birds in the family and are found mainly in eastern Australia.

How fast can a red-tailed black cockatoo fly?

These birds are mostly inactive and spend most of the day seated on the branches of trees or in their hollows. They only venture out in flocks to look for food and are not known to travel further than two and a half miles from their roost. So, it is safe to assume that they are not fast fliers!

How much does a red-tailed black cockatoo weigh?

An adult bird weighs about 22.7-31.5 oz (650-900 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males of the species are called 'cocks' and the females are called 'hens'.

What would you call a baby red-tailed black cockatoo?

A baby red-tailed black cockatoo is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Found across mainland Australia, these parrot-like birds are known to eat seeds and nuts. The red-tailed cockatoo feeds on the seeds of some old trees.

Their hard bills help them to tear open the seed pods of eucalyptus and casuarinas. The bird is also known to eat the larvae of small insects and females are responsible for feeding their young birds in their initial days.

Are they poisonous?

The red-tailed cockatoo is non-poisonous but has great chewing capacity.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds look like parrots and many people like to keep them as pets. However, since they are rare and their population gradually decreases, they can cost a lot. Also, if kept as pets, they need proper care and attention.

Did you know...

Red-tailed black cockatoos have a loud call, which is why they are also known as 'karrak birds'.

These birds can walk vertically on brown stringybark owing to their zygodactyl feet.

How much are red-tailed black cockatoos?

Since these birds are rare, are only found in one continent and their population is gradually decreasing, they can cost between $800-$3000 depending on the subspecies.

How high can they fly?

Whilst the exact height isn't known, during sunsets, they can be seen flying high while returning to their hollows.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these wren facts and scarlet macaw facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable red-tailed black cockatoo coloring pages.

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Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_black_cockatoo

https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/red-tailed-black-cockatoo

https://animalia.bio/red-tailed-cockatoo

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Chandan Shukla picture

Chandan ShuklaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, Chandan is a skilled and passionate technophile. He has completed a machine learning training program and is adept in various programming languages. He has been working as a content writer for two years while also striving to become a proficient tech professional.

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