Last week I wrote about the Little Corellas causing problems. This week I’m talking about the anthesis – Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris). So while the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo is just as noisy and destructive, yet the Corellas are disliked while the Black Cockatoos (Red-tailed, Carnaby’s and Baudin’s) are much loved. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified them as endangered and so have the Western Australian and Federal government has followed suit. They’re a bird more associated with the Wandoo forests of the Wheatbelt, but with large scale land clearing they are now becoming more common on the Northern Swan Coastal Plain where it is estimated that there are between 4600 and 15000 birds outside the breeding season. Overall it is estimated that over the last 45 years the state wide population has been halved and continues to fall at the rate of 10% per year.
We were up at Yanchep National Park the other day and walking along the banks of Loch McNess in the gumtrees were hundreds of them. The noise was incredible – it was like something out of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds. As you walked along the path under the trees I got showered with leaves, twigs, gum nuts and flowers the detritus of their feeding in the tree tops. Periodically large groups of them would fly out over the water and land on the island to drink. It was an amazing spectacle and great fun to photograph. Normally I don’t do well with Bird In Flight (BIF) photos but here it was easy as there were so many birds flying around. I enjoyed it so much that I almost forgot I was there to walk around the wetland and look for Masked lapwings and Buff-banded Rails.