Backyard Buddies
Black Cockatoos

Photo: jj Harrison

Black Cockatoos

Go Back

There are six different species of Black Cockatoos in Australia but only two of them are common: the Yellow and Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos.

All Black Cockatoos are sociable and enjoy hanging out in large groups but they are also happy spending quality ‘couple time’ with their partners.

These large parrots can live for up to 50 years but they are very slow at reproducing. The female will lay a couple of eggs but only one will survive. Any interference with their nests from logging and deforestation or poachers stealing their babies, has a BIG impact on the population size of these slow reproducing birds.

The male Black Cockatoo has a bigger crest than the female and when it’s mating season he will fluff himself up and bob his head up and down to impress his female partner. They make a very romantic couple and even in their old age, when they stop reproducing, the male will still show off to his partner and share some cuddles and kisses.

It’s easy to make your neighbourhood friendlier for Black Cockatoos

These striking birds make a spectacular addition to any park or garden so why not encourage them in by planting their favourite foods?

These buddies love to eat seeds and cones on trees and large bushes. Some of their favourites are the Casuarina (She-oak), Hakeas, Banksias, and Acacias.

Unfortunately the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo also eats the Radiata Pine cones and spread these seeds which can become weeds, so remember native is the way to go! These cockatoos don’t just eat the seeds on trees, they also love to feed on insects, giving you some free pest control.

Our gardens and parks can be a safe place for Black Cockatoos and provide them with the food they need. Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Black Cockatoo is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the Black Cockatoo, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy too.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Black Cockatoos do and do not like.

Black Cockatoos love:

Casuarina seeds – which they crack open with their sharp beaks.

Showing off – especially the males who have some funky dance moves and stylish hairdos.

Their partners – who they will care for and stay with for their whole lives.

Tree hollows – which provide safe and secure nesting sites, beyond the reach of predators.

But they don’t like:

Cats and dogs – who can frighten or attack them.

Chainsaws – which cut down valuable food trees and trees with nesting hollows.

Be a buddy to the Black Cockatoo

Try to:

Avoid:

Don’t be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

SIGN UP: to receive regular B-mails about animals you’re likely to see in your backyard with tips on how to make your backyard friendly for them.