The Cape is home to both permanent parrot species (such as resident Galah and Rainbow Lorikeet) and migratory species (such as Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and Blue-winged Parrot). Due to a lack of old, significant nesting trees along this part of the coast, the most common parrots seen tend to be the ground dwelling and seed eating species.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)
The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo is a winter visitor to The Cape. They visit the coast to feed predominantly on banksia and pine seeds after spending the warmer months breeding in higher, inland ranges. They are a beautiful, graceful bird and can form large flocks of 100 birds but are normally seen in smaller groups of 4-6 birds. They are extremely noisy and boisterous with their distinctive loud wailing call and alarm screeching. The male of the species is distinguished by a pink eye ring and dark bill. They are commonly seen flying over The Cape and feeding in coastal banksia but they are particularly attracted to an old pine tree (known as ‘Lone Pine’) behind the Central Wetland Complex.
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)
Galah are one of the most conspicuous and boisterous birds around The Cape. They feed all day around the grassy, open spaces eating grass seeds and digging up grass roots. They are extremely playful birds whose antics can be watched for hours.
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)
Little Corella usually arrive in September in large numbers, stayover during the warmer months, and provide additional chaotic and humourous behaviour along with Galah. Occasionally, they can be seen feeding together but generally stay apart despite enjoying the same food sources.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is an uncommon visitor to The Cape, most likely because of the shortage of large woodland trees they rely on for habitat and breeding. They are very occasionally seen in a flyover.
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus)
Rainbow Lorikeet, although a very colourful and attractive bird, has the potential to be a feral bird with impacts on other birds, particularly if they are fed artificially and induced into The Cape habitat. They are resident closeby in Cape Paterson hamlet, but are not seen in big numbers within The Cape. It will be interesting to see if they expand their range as the streetscape and house habitats grow and evolve.
Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius)
Eastern Rosella are seen occasionally in The Cape, primarily in the south east sector next to the coastal reserve but also perched on house scaffolding surveying the scene! More often seen as a pair, they are a beautiful bird with striking yellow, red and green plumage, and white throat.
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
The Blue-winged Parrot is an uncommon bird and just a little bigger than a Budgerigar. They are mainly ground dwelling, grass-feeding birds that inhabit the semi-arid inland of south-east Australia and Tasmania. Most birds reside and breed in Tasmania and migrate to the mainland, but it is believed some birds remain in SE Australia and not a lot is known about their movements.
A small flock of six birds was observed in the damp re-entrant west of the new creek line restoration in September 2020. The birds were feeding on grasses and weeds and alternating between some soil mounds and sedges in a boggy area. The flock may have been on their way back to Tasmania after spending the autumn and winter in the slightly warmer climate of the inland.
The Blue-winged Parrot is very similar in appearance to the Elegant Parrot and Rock Parrot, both of which reside primarily in Western Australia and South Australia. The closest parrot in appearance in our area to the Blue-winged is the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. The Orange-bellied has been observed in the past at the nearby Mouth of the Powlett. So keep your eyes out!