Specky Visitors


These Black Cockies arrive suddenly and leave just as quickly! One day the pine trees are quiet, the cattle are grazing without a care in the world… and then suddenly… “SQUARK, squark, squark’! They’ve arrived.

I’m sure these attention seekers have got no idea how loud their call is and how frightening it is for the stock when they fly in mobs of fifty or so over the sheep or cattle, yelling at the tops of their voice! It’s not unusual to see a mob of cattle suddenly take off across a paddock with the Black Cockies above them.


They’ve been back here about three weeks, talking, squawking, and picking at the pine cones, either on the trees or ground. Anthony jokingly calls them drought birds. They were here heaps last year when it was dry and should’ve been raining… they’ve appeared again as the lack of rain begins to bite once more.

Apparently Black Cockies aren’t supposed to frequent the east side of Esperance, so we’ve been documenting their arrival and departures as often as we can… I think I’ve just proved their on our farm wouldn’t you say?

Comments 5

  1. Fleur, are these what we call yellow-tailed blacks here in the Hunter? Some people call them rain birds, as they do tend to travel ahead of the fronts. Maybe they do that at your place? I can’t tell from the photos whether their tails have a yellow flash or white? It certainly seems as though they make the same noise tho, regards Trev.

  2. Hi Trev

    They’ve got white tails and have seemed to disappear just before we had some rain over the weekend, so maybe they do appear before the fronts. I’ll keep an eye on that as my bird-watching couterparts would be interested in that fact!


  3. Hi Fleur,
    According to Simpson and Day’s Claremont Field Guide what you have is either the Short Billed (White Tailed) Black Cockatoo, or the Long Billed Black Cockatoo. The short-billed is generally the bigger bird, (naturally!) but only by a couple of centimetres. Both have the white tail flash. I won’t see ’em here in the Wollombi area. Their habitat is limited to your place, SW corner of WA. It would be interesting to discover if they do share a weather forecasting pattern.
    Regards, Trev.

  4. Trev, if you do paint it, please let me know, I’d love to buy it. It’s from my native state of SA and it’s on my Mum and Dad’s station, which is around where my book, Red Dust, is based. It’s one of my fav’s as well. Thanks for all the info on our noisy visitors!

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