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Although they are a rare and prized sight, these exotic cockatoos make wonderful pets and are still sought by many potential owners. With their mysterious, elegant looks and a lot of unique traits, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is charming in every aspect. A lot of people are intrigued by the exotic and magnificent appearance but think that they are hard to raise as pets – due to their rarity. But the truth is totally different – Red-tailed Black Cockatoo makes a silly yet calm pet and is not as noisy as other cockatoos. They adapt to most conditions better than any other black cockatoo breed and make best household pets. Let’s find out more about these marvelous parrots.
In the mythology of Australia’s Tiwi aborigines, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo accompanies the dead to the heavens.
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is one of the most recognizable parrots of Australia. They leave a strong impression and have always been an important symbol. From sports mascots, postage stamps, to important aboriginal mythologies – the popularity of these parrots is widespread. They are found in most parts of Australia, including the dry and arid regions, but also along rivers and in Eucalyptus growths. They adapt easily to harsh conditions and are one of the rare parrots that are nomadic – moving to different locations with the changing seasons.
Although they are a part of the cockatoo family, the similarities are only basic, and these parrots display a whole variety of unique details. These, paired with their striking color, will make them easy to spot and identify. The adults reach an average length of 24 inches (60 centimeters) and will weigh up to a 2.20 pounds (a kilogram). Their imposing size makes also means that these cockatoos are strong and will need a lot of free space. Before becoming an owner, make sure you have a spacious home and plenty of room for a feathery friend of this size.
Another unique detail of these parrots is their zygodactyl feet. This means they have two toes in front and two in back, helping them grab things with ease and surprising skill. But the most prominent and impressive detail is their beak. It is huge, stubby, and robust, and can cut open the hardest nuts with ease. Where humans need a hammer, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo uses its beak.
We all know that cockatoos have a reputation for being extremely noisy, raucous and difficult to tolerate to some. But these unique members of that family are totally different, and not at all loud. Red-tailed Black Cockatoo owes this to its calm personality. Their natural calls are drawn out “caws” and “kree” sounds, and they often sound cute and goofy. It is a well-known fact that a happy cockatoo with his needs fulfilled will be much quieter in general. When raised from a young age, these parrots can even learn a few words to repeat.
Like most cockatoos, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is also simple in its coloring, without a lot of fancy details. But they are still totally different from what you’d expect from the species, and incredibly elegant as well. The males are entirely black, with a unique, fluffy crest on the top of the head. They have two red stripes on the tail. The females are slightly different. While they are also black, they have yellow stripes on the tail, and subtle yellow and orange shades on the cheeks. Even if it is simple, the black color gives these parrots a graceful and noble look that’s rarely seen in the world of parrots.
With a few key differences between them, the males and females are easy to tell apart.
Today, we have a great variety of commercial seed based mixes that are designed especially for cockatoos. This is the best choice when starting a balanced diet for your pet. But in order to complete it, you will need to add a regular amount of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts. They are a big part of their diet in the wild. They function as tasty treats and sources of important nutrients as well. Make sure that their food is always fresh and the remnants quickly removed to prevent spoiling.
Birds of this size are well known for their longevity, durability, and strength. A properly cared for Red-tailed Black Cockatoo can live from 50 to a 100 years, which makes them a lifelong commitment and a companion for more than one family generation. A parrot must have a lot of interaction, plenty of free space, sufficient natural light and a carefully prepared diet. You should also provide them with fresh, untreated branches which they will love to chew and break apart. Their extremely powerful beaks can open a coconut – and they will require the practice!
The Aborigines call these parrots “Karrak” – which is simply the sound of their natural calls.
With enough time to bond, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo can become very affectionate, especially if raised from a young age. They have a few differences in personality when compared to other cockatoos, and are much calmer and friendly. As they are very smart, these birds will surprise you with their inquisitive side, and won’t hesitate to explore and investigate. Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is, all things considered, a wonderful pet parrot – even though they are rare in aviculture. The main reason for this is their often steep price, which comes from their exotic appearance and great personality. But many owners would agree – it’s definitely worth it!
Red Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Australian Bird Media.
These impressive Cockatoos are seen in large roaming flocks in the dryer regions of Australia. They are relatively common and can be observed coming to drink often in the afternoons. Their call can often be the first indication that they are moving from one area to another. The males are sooty black with Red in the tail and the females have subtle spots on the mantle and wings. I filmed these birds near Townsville In far North Queensland. This bird Video is part of my channel started in 2015. My ambition is to showcase 500 Australian bird species. I am passionate about Bird Video as it Potentially shows bird behaviour, breeding and often bird song.
I began birdwatching when I was 12 and progressed to bird photography and then to bird Video for the past 15 years.
Originally from the UK, I find birding in Australia exciting and engaging. I have now travelled around Australia twice but mainly film birds in Queensland.
Many of the bird clips are taken from hides or blinds that I construct from bush materials, saving the need to carry a hide to a location.
Knowing bird calls and song is a big part of finding each species and naturally, knowing the habitat requirements helps also.