Long-billed Corella

Long billed Corella

Quick Facts

Length: 40 cm
Height: -
Weight: 567 grams
Colour: White, long mandible to it's bill, orange-red splashes on forehead, with orange-red crescent acr
Habitat: Grassy woddlands and grasslands, pastures and crops
Food: Grass seeds, corns, bulbs and roots - especially the weed onion grass and insects
Predators: -
Status: Secure in NSW, SA, VIC & WA. Not Present in NT, QLD & TAS
Long billed Corella
Long billed Corella

The Long-billed Corella is a medium-sized white cockatoo with a short crest (not always visible) and short tail, stocky body and a distinctive long upper mandible to its bill. There is a faint yellowish wash on the undersides of its wings and tail, and orange-red splashes on its forehead, throat and an orange-red crescent across its upper breast. The eye ring is pale grey-blue. It is a conspicuous and gregarious species, often seen foraging in large flocks on the ground.

The Long-billed Corella might be confused with the Little Corella, but can be distinguished by its long slim upper bill, bright orange-red head patches and orange-red markings on its breast. It is also slightly larger and heavier, and has a shorter tail than the Little Corella.

The Long-billed Corella is normally found only in the extreme south-east of Australia from south-eastern South Australia through western Victoria to southern New South Wales. However, it has established populations in other parts of eastern Australia (probably from escaped cage birds).

The Long-billed Corella prefers grassy woodlands and grasslands, including pasture and crops, as well as parks in urban areas.

Grass seeds are the preferred diet of Long-billed Corellas, particularly those from grain crops. They also eat corms, bulbs and roots, especially from the weed onion grass. Insects are also eaten. Native food plants include Murnong, but about 90 % of the diet now includes introduced food plants.

Long-billed Corellas form monogamous pairs and both parents prepare the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young. Nests are made in the hollows of large old eucalypts, and sometimes in cavities of loose gravelly cliffs (scoria). The eggs are laid on a lining of decayed wood.

The Long-billed Corella can become a pest of grain crops and fruit trees, and permits are sometimes issued for shooting pest birds. It is quite successful in areas where feral populations have established themselves. However, the overall population may be in decline because of loss of suitable nesting sites (old trees with hollows) throughout its original range.

Author: Rosalyn Plunkett
Last Updated: Thursday 18th July, 2013
BirdLife Australia - www.birdlife.org.au


Signup for our monthly newsletter the "e-Telegraph"