Carnaby's Black Cockatoo: Most Northern home right here in the Midwest

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo: Most Northern home right here in the Midwest

Author
Heather Beswick
The Carnaby's Black Cockatoo - an iconic species and one who the Noonygar people call Ngoolark or Gnoomglark - indigenous people believe that the black cockatoo represents the power of spirit coming into your lives .... Black cockatoo energy tends to be celebratory and can bring about empowerment, happiness and contentment. The Carnaby's black cockatoo flies both over Noonygar and Yametji country.
Carnaby's black cockatoo are listed as endangered and over the last 50 years their populations have decreased by 50%
 This is mainly due to habitat loss reducing their opportunity to nest in old hollows (their trees need to be at least 140 years old) food sources and their homes.  As well they are threatened by feral species taking over their hollows and increases in traffic in their historical travelling routes meaning they are at risk of being injured or killed by vehicles.
Carnaby's black cockatoo are endemic to Western Australia meaning they are found nowhere else in the world and the Midwest supports the most northern population of these amazing birds which make them extremely special.  Their habitat extends from the northern reaches of the Murchison River, East to Coorow and as far south as Esperance taking in Perth and the Swan Coastal Plain.
The Carnaby's black cockatoo mate for life and the males perform an elaborate courtship with head bobbing, flaring of his tail and arching his wings combined with a unique whistle to impress the female.  They lay two eggs, successfully raising one chick to adult hood and are extremely fussy about their hollow choice, like we are with our houses. They feed on natural foods such as hakea, grevillea, banksia and parrot bush as well as several species of eucalyptus.  They have also adapted to feeding on pine cones, wild radish, paddy melons, sunflowers, onion grass, jacarandas and hibiscus flowers. There is a semi migratory population of approximately 250 birds who appear seasonally in the Chapman Valley and this is where you can assist in conservation efforts to save these beautiful birds.
We need eyes and ears out there to provide information on what the birds are doing ..... From January to mid-August they are in the valley and from August to January we are unsure where they go and what they do.  So what we need from all of you out there is the following:
  1. Observations on where you see Carnaby's black cockatoos;
  1. Times and dates on your observations;
  1. Type of Weather i.e. cloudy, raining, cool, hot etc.
  1. Numbers of birds and what time of year;
  1. What they are feeding on;
  1. General behaviour i.e. flying, feeding, settled or unsettled,calling or quiet;
  1. Where they are roosting (where they are sleeping at night);
  1. Whether or not they are potentially breeding on your property;
It is a matter of Observing, Recording the information and Reporting
 
And anything else you can tell us ...... it would be awesome to have you assisting us and together we can make a huge difference in the lives of these beautiful birds who once you have had the opportunity to observe them and spend time with them you will be besotted as I am ... they simply melt my heart.
If you can help or have any information please contact Kahree Garnaut at NACC Midwest - her email address is kahree.garnaut@nacc.com.au
Thank you so much and look forward to hearing from you about these beautiful birds.
Kind Regards
Heather Beswick
 

🙏🏽 We would like to acknowledge the amazing team at NACC - Jarna Kendle, Amanda Bourne and Kahree Garnaut for their commitment , dedication and passion in the ongoing conservation project work being undertaken now and into the future to ensure that the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo continues to fly in our skies - wild, free and in huge numbers.
This work is also not possible without incredible support from Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo experts Rick Dawson, Peter Mawson and Denis Sanders who are not only supporting the efforts in the Midwest but who have all been working on the Coomallo Artificial Hollow Nesting Project for in excess of 50 years…. An epic conservation effort and one which is making a huge difference.
Thank you to Birdlife Australia and the Midwest Birdlife Club and members for their ongoing support and expertise!
 
 
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