Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

July 6, 2015

Aerial Combat

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 12:39 am

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo vs Pied Currawong.

The Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos came down the valley, screeching their heads off. There must have been more than twenty of them and the noise was catastrophic. I am in the Peel Valley, at Swamp Creek Reserve, just near Nundle in the New South Wales Highlands. It is winter, early morning and it is freezing.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

They alight onto some trees but wherever they set down they are attacked by gangs of Pied Currawongs intent on defending their territory or they are just itching for a fight.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Settling down.

The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos do not seem to be feeding but just like to fly around screaming their stupid heads off and making a nuisance of themselves.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Soaring high.

Then the Pied Currawong attacks in the air and it is on. A classic dog-fight with both combatants ducking and weaving.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo versus Pied Currawong

Tail feathers are nipped and the intruders are driven off.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo vs Pied Currawong
Get out of here!


  1. Hi there,
    I had been searching for information tonight on the Black Cockatoo and came across your story you wrote when staying at Woolomin.My place is in Woolomin just a stones throw rom the rec ground. Yesterday for the 3rd year in a row I have had the welcomed pleasure of having the birds come for a quick visit in my old pine trees along the creek. It was the noise that sent me outside to investigate what was making such a rackect.
    An amazing sight.

    Comment by Karen Upward — June 8, 2016 @ 10:43 am

  2. thanks karen.

    There were quite a few black cockies in that area and up at nundle as well.
    Woolamin is a really nice place and thanks to the locals for making it available to responsible travellers.


    Comment by admin — June 23, 2016 @ 1:03 am

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