Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Glossy Black Cockatoo on the Sunshine Coast

Today I found Glossy Black Cockatoos at three sites around Noosa on the Sunshine Coast - a further indication that the area is emerging as one of the best in Australia to see this endangered parrot.
That a healthy population of Glossy Black Cockatoos is thriving in the heart of a major tourism destination is thanks to a concerted effort by local government authorities (the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and its predecessor, the Noosa Shire Council) to protect remnant habitat - stands of Allocasuarina littoralis trees, usually in nature strips along often busy roads or in parks. The pair of cockatoos above (female below the male) were feeding near a school in a heavily urbanised area.
Government efforts to protect the cockatoos are backed by a group of local cockatoo enthusiasts led by Bob Carey, who meticulously monitor the birds' feeding, roosting and other behaviour. Thanks to these conservation efforts, the birds are breeding annually and the population, although nomadic, remains in the Noosa area year-round. A total of about 25 birds is concentrated in the suburbs of Noosa Heads, Noosaville, Sunshine Beach and Sunrise Beach.
 The birds feed exclusively on the cones (called orks) of Allocasuarina trees. Although there are plenty such trees in coastal dunes all along the Sunshine Coast, the birds prefer the concentrations of trees in nature strips in the Noosa area, like the one above.
The first birds I saw today were a pair in the grounds of a Noosaville nursing home, one of many community organisations that is co-operating with the cockatoo conservation program. The male is here.
And the female here. I then saw a pair flying briefly in a park behind a Noosaville shopping centre. The third pair (first picture) was located roadside opposite a Sunshine Beach school. They were happily oblivious to the constant stream of students walking below them - just a couple of metres distant - on their way to school.



The cockatoos are often located by the scattering on the ground of broken orks. These are the shells of cones that the birds tear away with their power bills in order to reach the kernels.



8 comments:

  1. Well done Greg! I haven't has any luck with these guys. Being from Melbourne, I have kept an eye out when visiting Sunshine Coast and also Kangaroo Island SA. I have certainly seen my fair share of glossy black habitat signs (your 2nd image is quite familiar to me). I guess I just need to stay longer!!

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  2. Pete, let me know next time you're up and I'll point you in the right direction

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  3. Hi Greg We live at Peregian Springs and a pair were feeding for several hours on casuarina trees on the golf course boundary yesterday morning. Myles and Jill McIvor

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  4. Myles and Jill, that's very nice. I will have to try to find out where the golf course is.

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  5. We were very fortunate to see three of the black cockatoo's on a walk this morning through Noosa Heads National Park. This was exciting for us as we are on holiday from Sydney.
    Jennie and Richard

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  6. That's nice Jennie and Richard. There are quite scarce in the national park - I've only once seen them there.

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  7. I thought the casuarina "cones" were called strobili (singular strobilus).

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  8. Seeing black cockatoos every day since early November 2016. Lots nesting and feeding in Sunrise Beach area.

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