Glossy Black Cockatoo
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. glossy black cockatoo
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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name: Psittacus lathamia
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: 3
  • Origin / Distribution: Eastern Australia from south eastern Queensland down to Victoria, plus Kangaroo Island.
  • Habitat In Wild: Coastal eucalypt forests and open woodlands.
  • Status In Wild:  Subject to loss of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare, but numbers are increasing.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: about 3 - 4 years
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 5th years onwards
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: None
  • Availability: Rare
  • Temperament: ?
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $15,000
  • Description Of Adults: Not to be confused with the Red tailed Black Cockatoo.
  1. Length: Approx. 480 mm (or approx. 19 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 420 gms (or approx. 15 ozs)

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

An aviary of up to 8 metres long will allow these birds to be able to get adequate exercise.  The aviary should be about 1.5 to 1.8 metres wide and about 2.4 - 2.7 metres high.  Heavy gauge wire is necessary, preferably weldmesh.

Suitable non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Cockatoos or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Natural diet is mainly the cones/seeds of the Casuarina tree.

The Glossy black cockatoo in an aviary situation prefer grey striped sunflower seed along with some fruits and vegetables. Other seeds typically in a parrot mix are eaten in far less quantities. Casuarina tree seed pod or nut should be offered to aviary birds if available.

Leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared. If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

A solid log is the preferred nest for large cockatoos.

  • Nesting months: March to August.
  • Varies depending on the local climatic conditions.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 900 - 1000 mm (or approx. 36 - 40 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 300 - 450 mm (or approx. 12 - 18 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 300 - 400 mm square (or approx. 12 - 16 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 200 - 250 mm (or approx. 8 - 10 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100- 150 mm (or approx 4 - 6 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
    • Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to vertical
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.  The hen will chew pieces off the inside of the log to add to the nesting material on which she will lay the egg or eggs.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

The larger logs often do not have a top on the log. The top opening is used by the birds as the nest entry point. The young will sit on the top of the open log for days or weeks prior to finally flying to another part of the aviary.
A large log may need a strong supporting structure to ensure a safe stable nest.
A large log may be placed with the base on the ground.  The ground should be dry, or the log placed on a slightly raised waterproof material such as bricks or concrete.  Logs placed on the ground must be well supported and are usually in the vertical or near vertical position.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 - 150mm (about 4 -6 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 1.  Eggs per nest 1.  Incubation approx. 28 - 32 days.  Fledge approx. 13 - 15 weeks.  Independent approx. = many months.

The sex of the young can be determined as soon as the young bird leaves the nest.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 59 No. 1 Jan 2005 Page 23.
  • A/A Vol 42 No. 5 May 1988 Page 116-119 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol  2 No 2 Feb 1948 Page 13-15.
  • A/A Vol  2 No 5 May 1948 Page 44.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2005 Page 626-629
  • ABK Vol 11 Issue 2. Apr-May 1998 Page 72-76 (Black Cockatoos)
  • ABK Vol 10 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1997 Page 483-485
  • ABK Vol  9 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1997 Page 267-270 (Black Cockatoos)
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1996 Page 598-603
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 8. Apr-May 1989 Page 295

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