Gang-gang Cockatoos are listed as 'vulnerable' by the NSW Government's fauna/flora gurus. They are patchily distributed throughout the Southern Highlands - one sees them infrequently. Last year, I was fortunate/chuffed to see close to twenty birds behind the Sutton Forest Inn - an outstanding tally.
A pair turned up in an acacia opposite my place, early in the evening, yesterday. For an hour and twenty minutes they feasted on seed pods, occasionally omitting their bizarre troubled cat meets hedge trimmer screeches. At one stage, the male got into biffo with a Galah trying to munch pods along the same branch: the Galah, rattled, flew off. Both Gang-gangs used their beaks as a third claw to manoeuvre their way along branches.
The excellent Government website www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au has a wealth of information on Gang-gangs, including eleven points on how to protect the species so it doesn't become endangered in NSW. Clearing, frequent fires and climate change are major issues the bird has to contend with. In Bowral, PCD (Psittacine Cirovirus Disease) has been a great concern.
It's up to all of us to do what we can to look out for the bird, possibly the most beautiful of our cockatoos. If you've seen any Gang-gangs in Bundanoon lately, please send me an email.
LJ, November 29 2010