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How to Identify a Glossy


As three different species of Black-Cockatoo occur in South East Queensland and northern NSW, the correct Identification of a Glossy Black-Cockatoo is essential. Below is a table and a number of videos to help you correctly identify a Glossy so that you can keep a look out in your community. Some of the descriptions have been taken out of SImpson and Day's Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, 1993. It is a good idea to take a bird field guide when you are out searching for Glossy's. If you are unable to identify the bird, take a picture and send it in to us for verification. Once you have correctly identified a Glossy please submit your sightings. The Conservancy has also recently compiled a Fact Sheet to assist with field identification, and specifically sexing and aging individual birds.



Glossy Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus lathami
Glossy Black-cockatoo pair
Source: Marge Eller

video49MB video64MB video700k

Smallest Black Cockatoo 48cm
(Simpson and Day, 1993)

Males have a dull brownish tinge on the head and breast, females have irregular yellow blotches on head and neck and tail panels have black bars. Juveniles can also have yellow blotches. Tail has red panels. No crest on head. Bulbous bill.
Solitary or groups of 2-3

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus banksii
Red-tailed black-cockatoo
Source: Birds QLD

(Simpson and Day, 1993)

Male has crest. Black with red tail panels. Females spotted and barred yellow tail panels orange yellowish with black bars.
Large noisy groups

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus funereus
Yellow-tailed black-cockatoo
Source: Bob Inglis

(Simpson and Day, 1993)

Yellow tail panels and cheek patches
Large Groups


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