1. Carnaby’s black cockatoo
These black beauties are endemic to southwest WA and are counted every year by Perth birders in The Great Cocky Count. Carnaby’s black-cockatoos have grey-black feathers edged with white, giving their plumage a scalloped pattern. They have short crests, white cheek patches and a white tail band.
You may spot them flying overhead with deep, undulating wingbeats, or perched in flocks on the crown of a tree, cracking open the nuts and seeds of banksia, eucalypts and introduced pines.
Unfortunately, Carnaby’s black-cockatoos are endangered. Their numbers have been in steep decline over recent decades and continue to be at risk due to habitat destruction. Like other cockatoos, they rely on tree-holes for nesting. Trees must be at least 100 years old before they develop hollows big enough to accommodate a Carnaby’s couple.
Carnaby’s black-cockatoos can be tricky to distinguish from Perth’s other black-cockatoos, but the good folks at Birdlife Australia can help with identification.
Size: 53–58cm with wingspan greater than 1m
Call: screechy ‘wy-lah’
Where to spot them: eucalyptus woodland, especially with wandoo and salmon gum, Dryandra Woodland, Wandoo Woodlands (Collins Road)