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A photo of a Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)
Long-billed Corella

Long-billed Corella

Cacatua tenuirostris

The long-billed corella, also known as the slender-billed corella, is a striking bird native to Australia. It is predominantly white with a distinctive reddish-pink face and forehead. The bird's most notable feature is its elongated, pale beak, which it adeptly uses to forage for food. The breast and belly are adorned with reddish-pink feathers, adding a splash of color to its otherwise white plumage.

Identification Tips

Adult long-billed corellas measure between 38 to 41 cm in length, with a wingspan of approximately 80–90 cm, and an average weight of 567 grams. They can be identified by their long, bone-colored beak and the rim of featherless, bluish skin around their eyes. The underside of their wings and tail feathers have a subtle yellow tinge.

Habitat

This species thrives in grassy woodlands and grasslands, which include pastures, agricultural fields, and urban parks.

Distribution

Originally found in the wild in Victoria and southeastern New South Wales, the long-billed corella has expanded its range since the 1970s to Melbourne, Tasmania, South Australia, and southeast Queensland. A feral population has established itself in Perth, Western Australia.

Behaviour

Long-billed corellas are known for their monogamous pair bonds. They exhibit a communal lifestyle, often seen feeding in groups. These birds are also recognized for their playful behavior, which includes tearing at roadside asphalt and tampering with man-made structures.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the long-billed corella include a quick, quavering, falsetto "currup!", a "wulluk-wulluk", or a "cadillac-cadillac", often accompanied by harsh screeches.

Breeding

Breeding season occurs from the Austral winter to spring, between July and November. Both sexes contribute to nest building, incubation, and chick rearing. Nests are typically located in the hollows of large old eucalypts or in cavities within loose gravely cliffs. The clutch usually consists of 2–3 dull white, oval eggs.

Diet and Feeding

The long-billed corella's diet primarily consists of roots, seeds, corms, and bulbs, with a particular fondness for the weed onion grass. It also consumes native plants such as murnong and has adapted to include introduced plant species in its diet.

Similar Species

The long-billed corella is similar in appearance to the little corella but can be distinguished by its longer beak and the reddish-pink feathers on its face and underparts.

Conservation status

The long-billed corella is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of population decline.

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