Except for the short period of the year when Buloke is fruiting (Jan-Mar), Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos feed almost exclusively on stringybark fruits, so the search concentrated on areas of stringybark forest. My allocated search area was a patchy area of stringybark forest, river red gum woodland and swampy grassland in SW Victoria north of Casterton and west of Dergholm.
|Track through Stringybark|
|Remnant Stringybark forest on farmland|
|River Red Gum woodland|
The cockatoos can most easily be found by listening for their characteristic calls and searching for evidence of feeding on the ground - the birds tear off leaves and small branches, chew the fruit then drop the remains on the ground.
|Signs of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding|
I did manage to find two small flocks during the nearly 6 hours and 67.5 km of searching the tracks. Not a great shot but the primary purpose was to find and count the birds not photograph them. These were part of a flock of 16 birds.
|Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Dergholm Forest|