Calyptorhynchus magnificus ..................................................... By Gideon Scheepers


As this is one of the black cockatoos their general plumage is black, there is a brown tinge on the nape, back and breast. The central tail-feathers are black, and the adjacent feathers are black with a broad red band, giving rise to its name of red-tailed Black Cockatoo. The Iris is dark brown and the eye ring is black. They have brownish-grey feet and a dark grey bill. The female is generally brownish-black. She also has light yellow brown patches on her head, flight and primaries feathers. The breast feathers are edged with a light brown colour. She also has a yellow band on her tail, which becomes orange towards the tip and is barred with black. Her bill is horn-coloured. Young look like the mother, with males only obtaining adult plumage in the forth year. They grow to a length of around 55cm - 60 cm.

Range and Habitat

There are four sub-species of Red-tailed black cockatoos; namely Calyptorhynchus m. magnificus (Red-tailed Cockatoo), Calyptorhynchus m. macrorhynchus (Gould's Red-tailed Cockatoo), Calyptorhynchus m. samueli (Matthew's Red-tailed Cockatoo) and Calyptorhynchus m. naso (Western Red-tailed Cockatoo). They are found from central to eastern Australia from Cape York Peninsular and Gulf of Carpentaria, south to north-east New South Wales, also some of the northern off-shore Islands. They prefer open areas with trees along watercourses. Also coastal forests, cultivated areas, plantations and bush savannahs. They are usually seen in pairs, family groups and small flocks outside the breeding season.


Housing in Aviculture

They require a large robust aviary (8 x 3 x 2 m) constructed of metal aviary. A large barrel or metal drum 60 cm x 60 cm x 130 cm should be provided as a nestbox.

Breeding in Aviculture

These birds are extremely rare in aviculture with very few breeders outside Australia keeping them. They are not bred very often in Aviculture. When they do breed they lay 1 to 2 eggs and incubation lasts 30 days, the young will fledge after 90 days.





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