Animal Diaries Archive
24 June 2005We are delighted to announce this week the arrival of a healthy Red-tailed Black Cockatoo named Kimberley. The proud parents Uluru and Olga have been busy looking after this baby since he or she (we are not sure which sex it is) hatched out of the egg on the 1st of June.
Kimberley is currently covered in a yellow down (check out the photo) but will soon start getting black pin feathers coming through. At the moment Olga is constantly in the nest log keeping this little guy warm, coming out only to feed and bathe. Often while near the nest log you can hear little Kimberley demanding food from his mother. This little guy is growing very fast at the moment so has an extremely big appetite.
Once Kimberley gets all his plumage, just by looking at him you still will not be able to determine if he/she is a male or a female for quite awhile. While adult Red-tailed Black Cockatoos can be distinguished by their appearance, juveniles look similar to females, and male cockatoos don't get their adult plumage (under his tail will be fiery red) until four years old.
Kimberley will not be staying in the 'Zoo Bird' section for long though, because he/she is destined to join his sister Star and brother Kari in the free flight bird show. Hopefully in another eight – twelve months (these guys take quite a while to grow up!) this tiny little bird will be a fully-grown Red-tailed Black Cockatoo which will be seen cruising around the Crocoseum.
In the wild these birds can be found in eucalypt forests, and they are more commonly found in the northern part of Australia, though they do occur in the central and southern parts as well. Although some localized populations of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are doing OK, the population as a whole is not. Some sub species are considered threatened, the main threat to these beautiful birds being land clearing resulting directly to a reduction in foraging and nesting sites.