Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

Are you totally determined that the kind of bird you want to have at home is a cockatoo? It’s a good decision, but first of all you should think about which one, don’t you think? Maybe one you could bet on is the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

A very beautiful bird

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, known as Calyptorhynchus banskii, is a species that belongs to the family Cacatuidae and lives especially in Australia. It is a species that for years was known as Calyptorhynchus magnificus until it was decided to baptize it as such in 1994.

Calyptorhynchus banskii

A very curious bird that can mainly be found in its country of origin and that are very difficult to see outside Australia, but thanks to its great adaptability to poultry farming has been exported to some countries with great success.

What’s this cockatoo like?

It is a large cockatoo as it can measure up to 60 centimeters from beak to tail and weigh about 920 grams in the case of males. The females are usually a little smaller, about 50 – 55 centimeters and usually weigh between 615 – 870 grams.

red and black exotic bird

They stand out especially for their black plumage, which in the case of males has a deep red color while in females it seems to be a little duller. Its tuft is made up of black feathers that run from the forehead to the nape of the neck and have a strong grey beak. Females differ because they have, in addition to black plumage, yellowish orange stripes on the tail and chest and some yellow specks with degraded tones to the reddish tone on the cheeks and wings, so they have a clear sexual dimorphism. The potatoes are greyish in colour, very similar to that of the beak.

When young, the offspring resemble the female until they reach puberty, a stage they reach when they are 4 years old, although the lower parts of the bird are still just as clear. It is a bird that can live a long time and in some zoos has come to live until the age of 50, like the one that lived in the zoo of Taronga.

Within this group of birds there are a total of five subspecies:

  • Banksii: Which can be seen in Queensland and is very rarely found in northern New South Wales. It is the largest subspecies and has a medium-sized beak.
  • Graptogyne: This subspecies is known as the southeastern redstart cockatoo and is endangered. Their habitat is found mainly in Victoria and South Australia.
  • Macrorhynchus: It was named a large-billed cockatoo because of the size of its large beak and its large size. It is one of the most distended species within the subspecies of the red-billed cockatoo, especially in northern Australia. It has been little studied, although it is known that females do not have the color red in the tails.
  • Naso: Although not in danger of extinction, this subspecies found in Western Australia is being closely monitored and was named a forest redstart because of its preference for living in forests rather than savannahs or fields.
  • Samueli: Primarily found in Western Australia, they are the smallest of the five 5 subspecies and are among the most common to see in households as a domestic cockatoo.

Can I or can’t I have it as a pet?

There have been many problems with illegal trafficking of this bird, which has considerably reduced the number of members of some subspecies. But thanks to the work of some breeders, it is not impossible to find any specimens in some western shops.

However, it is necessary to bear in mind that due to its large size, it is necessary to have a fairly large cage, which is why it is much more advisable to keep it in houses with gardens or to keep it large, as its cage must be at least 6x4x4 metres long. It can be left loose in the house if you wish, but first of all you have to train it to get a little “friendship” with its owner to avoid problems of escape.

Is it difficult to breed in captivity? That’s what the experts say. You have to work with her a lot to get her to have babies. Not because it is violent like other cockatoos, like the yellow cockatoo, but because it is hard to find a female of this species. Their greatest advantage is that they have them as adults from the age of 4, at which point they reach sexual maturity and they can try to have offspring. But, above all, it will require a lot of patience on the part of its breeders, especially if they don’t have much experience.

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