Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kununurra cockies

Oh if I had my time over again! I was towing a trailer pop-up caravan through the busy regional town of Kununurra. We had the whole family on board when I spotted these guys feeding. I remember thinking they may just be funny shaped rocks but as we passed realised "Red-tailed blacks!" Well, there was no reversing or U-turning. I had to drive around the entire block and still negotiate a park in a non-trailer friendly spot!

Red-tailed black-cockatoo (female)
At this stage I was so unfamiliar with the bird that I didn't really appreciate the difference between the sexes. As it happens I have largely ended up with pictures of the females! Through the viewfinder & in the heat of the moment I'm afraid I wasn't being particularly observant. I must change that!

Further I didn't make any observation of what they were feeding on (and I still can't guess even with some close up views). I will be quite specific with my geotag. Maybe someone can help me out! I recall being under trees on a lawn nature strip in front of some sort of municipal building!

Female at front, male at rear. The male is "black with clear scarlet panels in tail". The female & immature birds have the yellow spots as seen. The female tail panels are "orange-yellow barred black" (descriptions from Pizzey)

I find the outline of the ground-feeding birds quite unusual (above & below)

Female tail-panels
Perceived "social pressure" meant I had to move on (kids waiting in the car, passers-by wondering what was this freak doing?) and I left the birds to their feast! If I had my time again ....

Bird on!


  1. When there are birds like this to watch, social pressure be dammed!

    Very nice set of pictures.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  2. Super collection of photos. It does look that you're interested in the females but what a superb looking bird she is. Lovely big smile for the first picture with a flash of tail. You did pretty well with the time you had.

  3. Good lord!
    Picture I would to achieve!
    how lucky can one get?!
    As my business was to raise parrots, I can tell you this about what they were eating:
    roots and insects! They feed a bit like Galahs, scratching on lawns for this kind of tit-bits!
    The female is magic with her golden dots!
    Can't wait to get back to Australia when I see this!
    Congratulations Pete!

  4. Brilliant captures, Pete!
    I have been told there are some of these down on the Gold Coast. I hope to be able to capture them some time.

  5. I really enjoyed this post and relate to the family pressure to stop taking photos, not to mention the get off the road pressure. Still you got some great pictures, especially that first one. Those birds look like they have such character.