Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gang-gang Cockatoos in Glenquarry

Male Gang-gang Cockatoo.
His brilliant red head is very distinctive.
Recently the SCA burnt off a large area of the bushland in the "catchment" area. This is the supposedly "protected area" (Special Area A) which is "supposedly" under their "protection". This area is known to include many Endangered and Threatened Species, including the Mittagong Geebung and the Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), which is listed as "vulnerable" on the NSW Threatened Species listings. Plants such as the Mittagong Geebung are not able to fly away, in advance of a fire. Ninety percent of the known plants of that species in the area have been burnt. At least the Gang-gangs are better equipped to escape fire.

Since the burn-off, a large group of Gang-gang Cockatoos, about 25 in all, have started hanging out in a deep gully along Tourist Road, in Glenquarry. There are numerous large Brown Barrel Eucalypts (Eucalyptus fastigata) and also some huge "Manna Gums" (Eucalyptus viminalis) here.

Eucalyptus viminalis (Manna Gum)
A magnificent specimen, in Glenquarry.
There are also a number of large Hawthorn trees here, and they happen to have berries on them, as it is autumn. The Gang-gangs are mostly hanging out in the Eucalypts, but they also feed on the Hawthorns. It is very unusual to see as many as 7 mature male Gang-gang Cockatoos in a single flock. But this is the case at present, with these birds.A female Gang-gang peering at me, from the safety of a tall Brown Barrel Tree. Females have a rose-coloured wash on their chest and abdomen.
An immature male Gang-gang sitting in one of the Hawthorns. His crest is partly red, but he does not have the red cheeks which the mature males have. The males seem to know that their bright red heads make them more conspicuous, and so, tend to be more secretive, or wary of people. This youngster was not quite so shy. This young male is showing his cream scallop-shaped markings, on the chest and abdomen feathers. This post has been coming for a few days now. As Tourist Road is very narrow in Glenquarry, many people, such as James, saw me taking these photos. Other friends such as Lucy and Kim (for whom the Gang-gang is a very special bird) know that I was writing this blog post. And Joe in Florida likes reading about our Australian parrots.


Joe said...

Thanks for this post! I have linked this specific post to my blog:

Its a really rainy day here; however, we really need it!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Joe.
I knew you would like the Gang-Gangs.