From dawn to dusk on Halloween—watch out
  • Friday 08 October 2010

A major conservation program is looking for help from Sunshine Coast residents to survey Glossy Black Cockatoo populations here on the Coast.

Researchers are keen to gather more information on cockatoo populations during a dawn to dusk survey on Sunday 31 October in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Environment Portfolio holder Councillor Keryn Jones said Sunshine Coast Council is just one of a regional group of councils supporting the survey, along with industry, non government organisations, academic partners and friends concerned with the conservation of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.

“With help from volunteers, we can add considerably to our knowledge on the number, distribution and social structure of the birds and help assess their viability in SEQ and northern NSW,” Cr Jones said.

“People interested in taking part in the birding day can contact their regional coordinator through the Glossy Black Conservancy website”

Survey participants will be given information on survey locations and how to identify Glossy Black-Cockatoo from other similar species.

When: Sunday, October 31 – from before dawn through to dusk.

Where: Natural bushland and peri-urban landscapes throughout southeast Queensland and northern NSW. Historical sighting records will assist in identifying survey areas and known feeding (she-oak habitat), roosting (Eucalypt woodland), or drinking locations on public and private lands will be targeted. Survey grid cells of 1km² will be identified and assigned to volunteers but interested landowners can also survey their own properties if Glossy Black-Cockatoo are known to frequent these areas.

How: Register your interest with the regional coordinator in your area. For more details visit the birding day pagesonline at

Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami) are a local native species and are under threat because of their restricted diet, feeding only on the seeds in cones of she-oaks (Casuarina and Allocasuarina) and only on selected individual trees.

An inaugural population survey was conducted in 2009 by Griffith University with the support of councils.

Glossy Black-Cockatoo are less gregarious than their Yellow-tailed or Red-tailed cousins and tend to travel in small groups. The smallest of the black cockatoos, they have red panels on their tail feathers but not the prominent crests as seen in other species. The females also have characteristic patches of yellow feathers on their heads.

The cockatoos can live for over 30 years and breed every two years with a single egg laid in late January to early June and with a longer nestling period then any other cockatoos (up to 90 days). The young are dependent on the parents for at least a year.