long-billed corella
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The long-billed corella or slender-billed corella (''Cacatua tenuirostris'') is a
cockatoo A cockatoo is any of the 21 parrot species belonging to the family (biology), family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea. Along with the Psittacoidea (true parrots) and the Strigopoidea (large New Zealand parrots), the ...
native to Australia, which is similar in appearance to the little corella. This species is mostly white, with a reddish-pink face and forehead, and has a long, pale beak, which is used to dig for roots and seeds. It has reddish-pink feathers on the breast and belly.


Taxonomy

The long-billed corella does not have any recognized
subspecies In Taxonomy (biology), biological classification, subspecies is a rank below species, used for populations that live in different areas and vary in size, shape, or other physical characteristics (Morphology (biology), morphology), but that ca ...
. The first formal written description was by German naturalist
Heinrich Kuhl Heinrich Kuhl (17 September 1797 – 14 September 1821) was a German people, German naturalist and zoologist. Kuhl was born in Hanau (Hesse, Germany). Between 1817 and 1820, he was the assistant of professor Th. van Swinderen, docent natural hi ...
in 1820. It is one of several related species of cockatoos called corellas and classified in the subgenus '' Licmetis'' within the genus ''
Cacatua ''Cacatua'' is a genus Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification, viruses. In the hierarchy of biologica ...
'', members of which are known as "white cockatoos".


Description

The adult long-billed corella measures from 38 to 41 cm in length,Birds in Backyards - Long-billed Corella
/ref> has a wingspan around 80–90 cm, and averages 567 g in weight. It has a long, bone-coloured beak, and a rim of featherless, bluish skin around the eyes. The plumage is predominantly white with reddish feathers around the eyes and lores. The underside of the wings and tail feathers are tinged with yellow.


Distribution and habitat

The long-billed corella can be found in the wild in Victoria and southeastern
New South Wales ) , nickname = , image_map = New South Wales in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of New South Wales in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Australia , established_title = Before federation , es ...
. It has extended its range since the 1970s into
Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most populous city of the St ...
, Victoria and can now be found in
Tasmania ) , nickname = , image_map = Tasmania in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Tasmania in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdi ...
,
South Australia South Australia (commonly abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest o ...
and southeast
Queensland ) , nickname = Sunshine State , image_map = Queensland in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of Queensland in Australia , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Australia , established_title = Before federation , established_ ...
. A feral population resides in
Perth Perth is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian states and territories of Australia, state of Western Australia. It is the list of cities in Australia by population, fourth most populous city in Aust ...
, Western Australia as of the mid-1980s, which has conservation implications as this species may hybridize with the endangered western corella. The long-billed corella is found in grassy woodlands and grasslands, including pasture, fields of agricultural crop, and urban parks.


Ecology and behaviour


Call

The call of the long-billed corella is a quick, quavering,
falsetto ''Falsetto'' (, ; Italian language, Italian diminutive of , "false") is the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave. It is produced by the vibration of ...
''!'', ', or ' combined with harsh screeches.


Breeding

Breeding generally takes place in Austral winter to spring (from July to November). Long-billed corellas form
monogamous Monogamy ( ) is a form of dyadic relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime. Alternately, only one partner at any one time ( serial monogamy) — as compared to the various forms of non-monogamy (e.g., po ...
pairs and both sexes share the task of building the nest, incubating the eggs, and caring for the young. Nests are made in decayed debris, the hollows of large old eucalypts, and occasionally in the cavities of loose gravely cliffs. 2–3 dull white, oval eggs are laid on a lining of decayed wood. The incubation period is around 24 days and chicks spend about 56 days in the nest.


Feeding

The long-billed corella typically digs for roots, seeds,
corm A corm, bulbo-tuber, or bulbotuber is a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ that some plants use to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat (perennation). The word '' ...
s, and bulbs, especially from the weed onion grass. Native plants eaten include
murnong The murnong or yam daisy is any of the plants ''Microseris walteri'', ''Microseris lanceolata'' and ''Microseris scapigera'', which are an important food source for many Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal peoples in southern parts of Australia. Th ...
''
Microseris lanceolata ''Microseris lanceolata'' is an Australian alpine herb with yellow flowers and one of three plants known as murnong or yam daisy along with '' Microseris scapigera'' and '' Microseris walteri.'' The plant is found in southern parts of Australi ...
'', but a substantial portion of the bird's diet now includes introduced plants.


Relationship with humans


As pets

Long-billed corellas are now popular as pets in many parts of Australia, although they were formerly uncommon, and their captive population has stabilised in the last decade. This may be due to their ability to mimic words and whole sentences to near perfection. The long-billed corella has been labeled the best "talker" of the Australian cockatoos, and possibly of all native Psittacines.


As pests

Long-billed corellas are viewed as agricultural pests, particularly in western Victoria and Western Australia. They can create significant crop damage and are also well known for tearing up pieces of asphalt along roadsides and even damaging power lines. Permits are regularly issued in Western Australia and sometimes issued in Victoria for the culling of this species. Within NSW, the corellas are the most common pest among sporting fields and golf courses, as they can dig holes in the ground up to 3 in across and 6 in deep. In July 2019, in a scene that was said to resemble a " horror movie", about 60 corellas in
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the list of Australian capital cities, capital city of South Australia, the state's largest city and the list of cities in Australia by population, fifth-most populous city in Australia. "Adelaide" may refer to either Greater A ...
,
South Australia South Australia (commonly abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest o ...
, died in a suspected case of poisoning, after "falling from the sky", bleeding from their mouths, and wailing. At least 57 of the birds were long-billed corellas, and a few of them were short-billed corellas. It was hoped that whoever poisoned them would get traced after doing a report on toxicology, which could nevertheless take several weeks to complete, because in Australia, people were required to register if they purchase poisons, according to Sarah King, founder of Casper's Bird Rescue, who witnessed the deaths, and also said that the type of poison was a slow one that takes several weeks to work. Additionally, the local Alexandrina council had beforehand called for short-billed corellas to be culled for damaging crops and chewing on streetlights, damaging built infrastructure such as buildings and sporting equipment, and displacing other native species of birds and bees, possums, and other organisms.


References


External links

{{Taxonbar, from=Q845964
long-billed corella The long-billed corella or slender-billed corella (''Cacatua tenuirostris'') is a cockatoo native to Australia, which is similar in appearance to the little corella. This species is mostly white, with a reddish-pink face and forehead, and has a lo ...
Birds of New South Wales Birds of Victoria (Australia) Endemic birds of Australia Talking birds
long-billed corella The long-billed corella or slender-billed corella (''Cacatua tenuirostris'') is a cockatoo native to Australia, which is similar in appearance to the little corella. This species is mostly white, with a reddish-pink face and forehead, and has a lo ...