Animal Diaries Archive
Our Cockatoos Are The Stars Of The Show!
17 September 2004Well, with the breeding season coming up for many of our birds are looking to be quite busy with hand-raising the next generation of free fliers to join the ever-increasing bird show team. From last season, our newest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo - who is yet to be named - has just started his free flight training. So far he can cope with short flights to land on the arm and we will gradually increase the distance as his flying skill improves. He sometimes needs a bit of help landing as he hasn't quite learned how to effectively use his 'brakes' yet. With each day that passes all of the other birds in the show are gaining invaluable experience. Each day is one big learning curve for all of us (keepers included!).
Profile - Star, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)
Star is certainly a unique individual. Like all of the birds, she has a definite personality and is very inquisitive towards new things. Star is still only a young cockatoo at just over three years of age. Her dad and mum are Uluru and Olga. She was hatched at Australia Zoo and was hand-raised by staff from the tender young age of one hour. Star is currently still in her juvenile plumage however at around five-seven years of age males of the species change to be jet black in colour with a bright red tail (we already know Star is a girl so she will remain just as she looks know).
Currently Star is enjoying the orientation part of her training, which basically means that she comes out each day and has a good fly around the grounds here at the Zoo. This allows her to become accustomed to the area and experience the joy of flying high up into trees and cartwheeling around in the wind. She is always glad to come home though to nice warm bed and a ready-made meal!