Magnificent Glossy Black-Cockatoos of Tamborine Mountain

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo loves the She-oaks of The Forest in the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct; a good thing considering they’re such picky eaters and prefer so few plants.

Physical features of the Glossy Black-CockatooGlossy Black-Cockatoo in Guanaba Forest

Glossies are the smallest of Australia’s five black-cockatoos and are often confused with the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (which has more white dots spread across their entire body).

Glossies have a splash of red on the underside of their tails. Adult females have some yellow splashes around their head and neck, while the red on the tails of the adult males tend to be a very bright red.

Threats to the Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are heavily reliant on a diet of Allocasuarinas for their survival. This very specific requirement may have contributed to their dwindling numbers, as land developments and farming have led to a loss of Allocasuarina tree species. Additionally, land clearing and more frequent and intense fires have led to not only a loss of food, but also a loss of suitable nesting tree hollows. This has further placed Glossy numbers at risk.

Species status of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo

In Queensland, the Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami, which can be found in the south-east corner of the State, north and eastern NSW and a little in Victoria, is considered vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act (NCA). It’s also considered vulnerable in NSW and threatened in Victoria.

What Glossy Black-Cockatoos eat

As mentioned, Glossies have a very specific diet, with the Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis) and the Forest She-oak (Allocasuarina torulosa) being their preferred food. They also have a tendency of returning to the same food tree time and again, ignoring trees of the same kind around them.

The Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct is home to both the Black and Forest She-oaks and supports a small population of Glossy Black Cockatoos (including the two pictured – a father and daughter).

How Glossy Black-Cockatoos live

Glossies are tree hollow dwellers, liking large trees with decently sized hollows for breeding and general habitat. They form monogamous pairs to breed every two years, laying a single egg that they incubate for up to 90 days.

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo count

In the October 2014, the Glossy Black Conservancy held its annual birding day to count Glossy numbers. Observers recorded 4 birds in the Scenic Rim. These results were markedly lower than those from the previous year, where observers recorded 55 birds. (Note: The drop in the number of recorded birds may be the result of a decline in spotters from 40 in 2013 to 8 in 2014.

The need to protect remnant forest to retain both food and shelter for Glossy Black-Cockatoos is essential for the survival of these beautiful birds. The Forest of the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment Protection Precinct is one such place able to sustain Glossies, which is one of the many reasons why we’re fighting for its protection against an out-of-place development.

More information:

Terrific online resource dedicated to Glossies: Glossy Black Conservancy

Seeking volunteers to monitor Glossy Black-Cockatoo numbers

Birds in Backyards: Glossy Black-Cockatoo

NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage: Glossy black-cockatoo

Find out about this out-of-place development

See our Save Guanaba Facebook page for more about our wildlife

Magical birds of the Escarpment

There are some amazing birds of Guanaba Forest in the Tamborine Mountain Escarpment, some vulnerable, threatened and endangered.

A place of many different forest types, the Escarpment provides an array of habitat for a variety of bird species as well as other significant fauna within the South East Queensland region.

Some of the bird species in the Escarpment face regional population decline, while some face national population decline. Recognition of the need to protect their habitat to secure their numbers is needed. Turning recognition into action is vital.

Here are some of the bird species facing population decline living within the Escarpment.

Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae)Grey Goshawk

1. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized raptor who comes in two different colour morphs.

They’re found in coastal areas in Australia’s northern and eastern spaces. The grey morph is more commonly found along the east coast in thick, sub-tropical forests.

Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)

1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.
2. Federal species status: Endangered.
3. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is the smallest of the 5 black cockatoos. Its colours are brown-black head and body, with red or orange in their tail.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos love Allocasuarina, relying on the fruit of this tree for food. They also nest and breed in tree hollows.

Land clearance has affected their habitat, which threatens the numbers of this beautiful bird.

Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)

1. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
2. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Black-necked Stork (also called the Jabiru) is the only stork found in Australia. They have black and white plumage, a glossy dark green and purple neck and black bill … a very distinctive bird.

The Jabiru is found in wetlands, swamps, water pools and more permanent bodies of water.

Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti)Albert's Lyrebird

1. Queensland species status: Near-threatened.
2. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
3. IUCN report: Decreasing.

The Albert’s Lyrebird is the smaller of the two Lyrebirds (the other being the Superb Lyrebird).

They’re found in a very small area of sub-tropical rainforest near the NSW and Queensland state border.

They don’t have the vocal range of the Superb Lyrebird, but their songs are still quite beautiful and recognisable.

Plumed Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus)

1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.

The Plumed Frogmouth is found in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

They live in sub-topical and moist lowland and mountain forests.

They’re considered a difficult bird to study because of their elusive nature. Numbers are threatened by land clearing, timber harvesting and fire.

Black-breasted Button-quail (Turnix melanogaster)Black Breasted Button Quail

1. Queensland species status: Vulnerable.
2. IUCN species status: Near-threatened.
3. IUCN report: Population decreasing.

The Black-breasted Button-quail is a rare Button-quail found only in Australia. It is not a true quail.

This little ground dweller is found in areas that see rainfall of between 770 and 1200 mm per year. Fragmentation of habitat has impacted seriously on their numbers.

Protecting the habitat of these amazing Australian birds is vital to their future.

More information:

Australian bird species reference: Birds in Backyards

Australia’s birds: Birdlife Australia

IUCN Threatened Species List: IUCN Red List

Search lists:

Department of Environment: Species Profile and Threats Database

Queensland Government: Species profile search