Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Photo credit: Rob Wallace

Each year we'll be focusing on a notable animal species that needs our help as part of our One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga canopy campaign. We hope that by looking after their habitat needs, we will also protect the habitats of other species.

This year our focus is the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Zanda funerea which is currently classified as vulnerable and ‘probably declining' and is marked as a flagship species in our Ecological Linkages Study

It’s hard to miss the presence of this beautiful bird due to its loud calls and gathering in large groups. It likes to live across most of the Onkaparinga region.  Sadly, there are fewer than 12,000 of these amazing birds in the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Region comprising of 600-800 pairs.

Our Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos have long breeding seasons where often only one chick will survive. They rely on large nesting hollows and the loss of native trees which provide these along with competition for hollows with other birds and inadequate suitable food near nesting areas contributes to a lowered reproductive potential.  

Their ideal habitat ranges from coastal health and stringy bark woodland and forest though they will nest in other eucalypts as well and will feed on other native species including allocasurina, acacia, banksia, hakea and melaleucas for seeds and insect larvae.

This means that planting a combination of local tree and shrub species can help to support these birds and can have a real impact even in a short amount of time, on a smaller scale. Other things you can do to support these birds is to install a cockatoo nesting box in a significant tree on your property and consider preserving any large deadwoods if safe, as these still provide habitat as well.

Make sure that your garden also has water sources for Cockatoos and other wildlife to access as they move through the landscape.

What to plant

This year we're giving away 1000 trees and shrubs at our Community Tree Giveaway Day on Sunday 2 June and another 400 as part of our school planting collaborations, many of which we've chosen as they are species that are traditional food sources and habitat for the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. They are also available to purchase from your local garden centre or native grower.

Silver Banksia Banksia marginata

Desert Banksia - Banksia ornata

Drooping Sheoak - Allocasuarina verticillata

Erect Hakea - Hakea carinata

Beaked Hakea - Hakea rostrata

Dwarf Hakea - Hakea rugosa

Jump back to the main One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga page to discover how to plant and provide aftercare for your tree.