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Long-Billed Corella Fact File

Cacatua tenuirostris

Credit: John Robert McPherson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Weight

565-640g

(20-22.5oz)

Length

38-41cm

(15-16in)

Lifespan

Wild 50 years

Captive 50 years

Diet

Herbivore

Grass seeds, roots

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

The long-billed corella is a native of Australia where escapes of pet birds have allowed them to expand their range considerably.

They are primarily herbivores and will feed mostly on grass seeds with bulbs and roots also consumed. Occasionally they will also feed on insects.

Pairs are monogamous and will work together to build a nest in a tree hollow or on a cliffside.

Their population is believe to be increasing. This is attributed to the expansion of their range through escapes from captive populations. Some are captured for the pet trade and others are hunted by farmers who view them as a threat to their crops.

Read on to learn more about these brilliant birds.

Appearance

What does the long-billed corella look like?

The long-billed corella is named for the elongated upper bill which curves downwards past the lower bill. Both sections of the bill are horn colored.

This lengthy bill is an adaptation which helps them to dig up roots to feed on.

Across the majority of their body they feature white feathers with light yellow on the underside of the wings. Around the eye on the upper breast are areas of red feathers. Surrounding the eye is a patch of bare skin which is colored blue.

On top of the head is a wide, short crest of white feathers which can be raised to help them communicate.

The legs and feet are colored grey.

Males and females are similar in size and appearance. An average long-billed corella will measure 38-41cm (15-16in) long with a wingspan of 80-90cm (32-35in) across. An average long-billed corella will weigh 565-640g (20-22.5oz).

Diet

What does the long-billed corella eat?


These birds are primarily herbivorous though occasionally eat small amounts of insects. The majority of their diet is made up of grass seeds, bulbs and roots.

Much of their feeding takes place on the ground.

While in some areas they still feed on native plants the expansion of their range has been driven by introduced grasses and these now account for as much as 90% of their diet.

Long-billed corella

Credit: John Robert McPherson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Range

Where can you find the long-billed corella?

Australia is the native home of the long-billed corella. Here they are naturally found in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria with the majority of their range being along the course of the Murray River.

Introduced populations, primarily from escapes of captive birds can now be found in a number of Australian cities.

Habitat

What kind of environment does the long-billed corella live in?

These animals make their home in forest and grassland habitats. They are often found along tree-lined rivers and creeks.

They are regularly seen in agricultural areas where they feed on crops and in urban centers where they can feed on grass at sports fields.

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Reproduction

How does the long-billed corella produce its young?

Long-billed corellas will form monogamous breeding pairs.

Egg laying takes place from July to October.

Both parents will work together to form the nest. They will build this nest in a tree hollow or a cavity within a cliff. This may be lined with some bark chips.

A female will lay 2-3 eggs in to this nest. Both parents will share the 24 day incubation period.

At birth the chicks are colored with sparse yellow down. They will be fed by their parents in the nest and then for a further three weeks after fledging which occurs around 55 days old.

Behavior

What does the long-billed corella do with its day?

These birds are regularly seen moving around in large flocks and may form mixed species flocks with the galah. Their flocks do not grow as large as those of their relatives, the little corella. On average these animals will have a few hundred birds in their group.

Long-billed corellas will produce a loud, raucous call and a harsh screech.

Long-billed corella

Credit: John Robert McPherson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the long-billed corella?

The world population of the long-billed corella is estimated at between 100,000 and 500,000 birds. Currently the population is believed to be increasing which is assisted by the expansion of their range due to escapes and the wide availability of grass in urban centers.

Their population has been affected by trapping for the pet trade and persecution by farmers who see them as a pest of crops which they will feed on.

Quick facts

These birds may also be known as the slender-billed corella.

Previously the population of corellas in Western Australia was considered a subspecies of the long-billed corella but they have since been elevated to species level.

The first record of this species for modern science was made by Kuhl in the 1820s.

Long-billed corella

Credit: John Robert McPherson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

References

Birdlife.org.au. 2021. Long-billed Corella | BirdLife Australia. [online] Available at: <https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/long-billed-corella> [Accessed 16 October 2021].

Birdssa.asn.au. 2021. Long-billed Corella – Birds SA. [online] Available at: <https://birdssa.asn.au/birddirectory/long-billed-corella/> [Accessed 16 October 2021].

The Australian Museum. 2021. Long-billed Corella. [online] Available at: <https://australian.museum/learn/animals/birds/long-billed-corella/> [Accessed 16 October 2021].

Bougalan, N., 2021. Long-billed Corella. [online] Oiseaux-birds.com. Available at: <http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-long-billed-corella.html> [Accessed 16 October 2021].

Parrots.org. 2021. Slender-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris) | Parrot Encyclopedia. [online] Available at: <https://www.parrots.org/encyclopedia/slender-billed-corella> [Accessed 16 October 2021].

BirdLife International. 2016. Cacatua tenuirostrisThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22684820A93048181. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22684820A93048181.en. Downloaded on 16 October 2021.

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