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

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. yellow tailed black cockatoo
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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name: Calyptorhynchus funereus
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: 3... C. f. funereus,  C. f. baudinii,  C. f. latirostris.
  • Origin / Distribution: South eastern Australia, Tasmania and Bass Strait Islands.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forest and open woodland. Feeds on suitable trees in suburban areas and parks.
  • Status In Wild: Secure, but the clearing of suitable old tree nest sites will impact on future generations.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: about  3 or 4 years
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 25 or more years.    Could reach 50 years of age.
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: None
  • Availability: Rare. From specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: Need large strong aviary
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $5000
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 600 - 650 mm (or approx  24 - 26 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 650 - 850 gms (or approx  26 ozs)

The Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo has a beak adapted for digging into branches and trunks of trees to extract insect larvae.

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 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 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.

In the wild the diet includes seeds from the native plants such as Acacia, Banksia, Eucalypt, Hakea, Xanthorrhea and the introduced Pine species. Branches, seeds and cones of these trees and other suitable native plants should be offered to the birds.  This will provide them with hours of physical activity and mental stimulation as well as a varied diet.  They have a beak capable of tearing into branches to get and eat grubs and other insects.

In captivity the foods should include Sunflower seed, canary seed along with insects such as mealworms or any of the commercially bred insects.  Any of the foods listed above, when available, should be offered to the birds.

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: Varies depending upon where they are bred.  Usually July - December.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  700 - 900 mm (or approx. 28 - 36 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 350 - 400 mm. (or approx. 14 - 16 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 350 - 400 mm square (or approx. 14 - 16 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 200 - 300 mm (or approx. 8 - 12 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 = high in the covered part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer 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.

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. Some parrot breeders do not place a "top" or lid on the larger nest log or box and allow the birds to enter the nest via the top opening.

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 ..Usually produce one young per clutch.  Incubation approx. 28 days.  Fledge approx. 12 weeks.  Independent approx .. many months, often 3 to 4, and may be fed by a parent till the parents start the next clutch the next year.

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 57 No. 11 Nov 2003 Page 238.
  • A/A Vol 57 No. 2 Feb 2003 Page 41.
  • A/A Vol 48 No. 6 June 1994 Page 125
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 9 Sept 1992 Page 215-218 (Inc photo)
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2001 Page 606-607.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 9. Jun-Jul 2001 Page 487-491
  • ABK Vol 12 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1999 Page 479-482
  • ABK Vol 10 Issue 9. Jun-July 1997 Page 438-439
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1995 Page 550-553
  • ABK Vol  3 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 1990 Page 36-37
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1989 Page 389

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