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Dingo - Canis lupus dingo
 
Uncertain Origins
The origin of Australia's wild dog is uncertain, though scientists believe that it is related to Asian and Middle Eastern wolves that probably arrived on the Australian mainland between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago, transported by Asian seafarers.
Family Life
Although often seen alone, dingoes are social animals and usually belong to a pack. Packs are ordered by strict hierarchies and work together to defend territory, hunt and raise pups. The dominant pair may be the only successful breeders, with litters of one to ten pups born after a gestation period of approximately 63 days.
Top of the Food Chain
As the largest land carnivore in Australia, the dingo plays a vital role in maintaining the balance in ecosystems by limiting the number of prey and keeping the competition in check. The dingo tends to specialise on the most readily available prey, changing group size and hunting strategy to maximise hunting success.  Prey ranges from insects to buffalo.
 
Did you know?
Although dingoes belong to the same family as dogs there are many differences between the two. For example they only breed once a year and their wrists are capable of rotation.
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Common wombats
Australia is home to all three wombat species. Common Wombats (also known as Bare-nosed Wombats) can be identified from their hairy-nosed relatives by their large, naked nose, small ears and coarser brown fur.
 
 
Pouch life
Wombats are a marsupial which means females give birth to underdeveloped young (joeys). Joeys climb into the mother's pouch where they attach to a teat and drink milk. Wombat pouches face backwards so that the joeys are protected from soil when the mother is digging. Joeys leave the pouch for good at approximately 10 months of age.
 
Nature's bulldozers
With their sturdy bodies, powerful limbs and shovel-like feet, wombats are excellent excavators.  Common Wombats typically burrow one to five metres deep in hill slopes or banks followed by a soil hump to trap stormwater and to keep the remainder of the burrow dry. Beyond the hump are one or more sleeping chambers and branches of tunnels extending up to 30 metres. Wombats can crush intruding predators against the ceiling of their burrows with their backsides.
 
 
Did you know?
Wombat teeth are 'rootless' which means the same set of teeth continue to grow for the life of the animal.
Pouch life
Wombats are a marsupial which means females give birth to underdeveloped young (joeys). Joeys climb into the mother's pouch where they attach to a teat and drink milk. Wombat pouches face backwards so that the joeys are protected from soil when the mother is digging. Joeys leave the pouch for good at approximately 10 months of age.
 
Hairy-nosed wombats
The hairy-nosed wombats are distinguished from Common Wombats by their silky, grey-brown fur and by their large square nose covered with fine hairs. They also have longer ears. The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is the smallest of all three wombat species.
 
Did you know?
The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is related to the critically endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii). There are two colonies of Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats in Queensland; Epping Forest National Park and a successful relocation colony in St. George.
 
 
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Koala Phascolarctos cinereus
Kindy kids
The kindergarten koalas are between one and two years of age. At this stage they are very active and playful as they socialize with one another.  They look a little clumsy as they explore and master their climbing skills and individual personalities begin to emerge.
 
Is that uncomfortable?
You may see our koalas sitting in some positions that do not look comfortable at all! However the fur on the koala's bottom is densely packed to provide a 'cushion' for the hard branches it sits on. The koalas have white dots on their bottom which help the koalas camouflage so they are hard to spot from the ground.
 
Multipurpose coat
Koalas have a thick, woolly, carpet-like fur. This coat protects them from both high and low temperatures and also acts like a raincoat to repel moisture during wet weather. The fur varies in colour from light grey to brown with patches of white on the chest and neck, inside arms and legs and inside the ears.
 
Arboreal marsupials
Koalas spend almost all of their day up in the trees, meaning they have an arboreal lifestyle. These accomplished climbers can rapidly ascend tree trunks, as they are very well equipped for climbing.
 
Look at those claws!
Koala hands and feet have long sharp claws and thick pads for cushioning. With three fingers and two opposable thumbs on their forepaws, they have fantastic grip. On their hind paws they have a 'grooming claw'; the  first and second toes are fused together and there are two claws on this toe. They use this claw like a little comb to clean themselves.
 
Each koala is unique
Interestingly, each koala's hand print is unique, just like our fingerprints.
 
What's that smell?
A male koala is easily distinguished by a brown mark on his chest. The brown mark is his scent gland which he rubs against the base of the trees in his territory as well as rubbing it on the trunk as he climbs. In doing this he marks out his territory and attracts females.  If you can smell a strong odour, it may be the males in front of you.
 
Size does matter
Male koalas are larger than females. An adult male koala weighs between seven and 14 kilograms whilst females usually weigh between six and 11 kilograms.
 
Did you know?
Research suggests that due to the hormone testosterone, male koalas (like most mammalian males) generally have a shorter lifespan than female koalas.
 
Who is growling? 
Koalas communicate by making a deep growling or grunting sound called a 'bellow'. This sound is used by males to attract females and intimidate other males in the area. Females will also bellow when they are in season to let any males know of their whereabouts.
 
When do they bellow?
Koalas are noisiest during breeding season which is roughly from September to March and they bellow mostly at night. Bellows can be heard up to 800 metres away. The koalas here at Lone Pine are most talkative and active at feeding times.
 
Mating call is a bluff
Recent research at Lone Pine has discovered that koalas are able to make themselves sound bigger than they actually are. Individuals that elongate their vocal tracts by lowering the larynx may gain advantages during sexual competition by sounding larger. Basically they are boasting about how big they are to attract females.
 
Jellybean babies
Koalas have a short gestation period of 33 to 35 days. At birth a koala joey weighs less than one gram and looks a lot like a pink jellybean.
 
Pouch life
The newborn koala has a well-developed sense of smell and touch, strong forelimbs and claws and an innate sense of direction. The joey will instinctually climb into the mother's pouch where it will attach to one of two teats. The mother's teat swells with milk to fill the joey's mouth and the joey will remain attached for approximately five months and begin to emerge from the pouch at six months. At eight months of age joeys are classified as 'back young' as they are too big for the pouch and will ride around on the mother's back instead. At 12 months joeys are completely weaned and independent.
 
All sorts of joeys
Koala and kangaroo babies are not the only joeys. All baby marsupials are called joeys – like wombat joeys, possum joeys and Tasmanian devil joeys.
 
Our koala elders
Koalas in captivity live longer than their wild counterparts. Captive koalas have the luxury of food provisions, veterinary care and protection from potential wild predators or domestic animals that may attack them.
 
How long does a koala live?
The normal life expectancy of a wild koala is eight to10 years whilst captive koalas commonly live 12 to 15 years.
 
Special care
Older koalas, like older people, require extra attention. Our golden oldies are given eucalyptus branches with the most leaf tip (softer juicier young leaves) to ensure that they have no problems eating, and they are checked more often by our veterinary staff.
 
The amazing Sarah
Sarah was a very special koala that lived at Lone Pine until 2001. Reaching the ripe old age of 23, Sarah made it into the Guinness Book of Records for being the world's longest lived koala.
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Flesh-loving predators
The scientific name 'Sarcophilus' (meaning 'flesh-lover') is well suited to the Tasmanian Devil as these carnivorous scavengers feed on fresh meat as well as rotting carcasses of wallabies, wombats, lizards, frogs, almost anything they can find. When devils feed on their prey, they consume the entire animal – flesh, fur, bones and all. Although devils have a reputation of being noisy feeders, their screeches and growls are most often a bluff to intimidate other animals in order to prevent fighting.
 
Forest cleaner
As a top predator in the Australian environment, the Tasmanian Devil helps maintain small animal populations and assists in disposing of carcasses. By consuming their prey and half-rotten meat in its entirety, they act like natural vacuum cleaners, keeping the bush healthy and reducing maggots.
 
Devils under threat
The greatest recent threat to this endangered species is a disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease. This contagious cancer is a fatal disease that spreads easily from devil to devil through biting. Scientists are working hard to find a cure and to save this species from extinction.
 
Did you know?
Uninterrupted, Tasmanian Devils can eat up to 40% of their body weight in 30 minutes.
 
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Golden girl
The colour of the Golden Brushtail Possum is a naturally occurring genetic mutation of the Common Brushtail Possum.  Golden Brushtail possums are most commonly seen in Tasmania and can find it difficult to hide from predators due of their colouring.
 
What's on the menu?
The Golden Brushtail Possum diet consists of leaves, blossoms and fruit. When living in suburban areas, they have also adapted to eat other food sources such as meat items.
 
Clever communicators
 
These possums communicate by sound and scent. Screeches and guttural growls are used often, particularly
in the breeding season, to ward off intruding possums
near the nest or home range. Sound can also be used
when a predator threatens them. Scent glands
are used to mark home ranges and define
occupancy of a home site.
 
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Little Red Flying-fox - Pteropus scapulatus
Grey-headed Flying-fox  - Pteropus poliocephalus
 
Black Flying-fox - Pteropus alecto
 
Forest gardeners
Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping native forests healthy. They play an important role in dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants. It is estimated that a single flying-fox can dispense up to 60,000 seeds in one night. Through this role they provide habitat for other flora and fauna species and add value for other forest uses such as hardwood timber, honey and native plant industries.
 
Family matters
Flying-foxes (commonly referred to as bats or fruit bats) are intelligent, social mammals. They roost together in large numbers at a 'camp' during the day and feed individually or in small groups at night.
 
Bat Kindergarten
Female flying-foxes give birth to one live young per year. The baby clings to the mother's belly for the first three weeks until it becomes too heavy to carry. At three weeks old the young is left at a ‘crèche’ in the centre of the camp at night while its mother flies out to feed. Mothers return just before dawn and can recognise their young by their smell.
 
Did you know?
Bats are the only group of mammals capable of true flight.
Grey-headed Flying-fox  - Pteropus poliocephalus
Black Flying-fox - Pteropus alecto
 
 
 
REPTILES
 
Lace Monitor
Tree lovers
These woodland and forest inhabitants are surprisingly agile on trees, giving rise to an alternative common name, the Tree Goanna. Lace Monitors also rely on trees for their hollow shelters, although hollow logs and burrows may also be used. If alarmed they are likely to scurry up the nearest tree using enormously powerful claws.
 
Termite mound incubators
Lace Monitor females dig through the walls of inhabited termite mounds to lay their eggs. Termites proceed to repair the holes created by the lizards, enclosing the eggs and providing a safe nesting site. After an incubation period between two and ten months, the female returns and releases her hatchlings.
 
What's on the menu?
Lace Monitors are carnivores, preying on birds, mammals, lizards, eggs and insects. These large lizards will even scavenge around picnic and camping grounds in search of the next meal.
 
Did you know?
Large monitors are considered to have high intelligence; almost as high as that of mammals.
 
Freshwater Crocodile
Walked with dinosaurs
Crocodiles roamed the Earth at the same time as dinosaurs. Their characteristic snouts, armoured scales, sharp teeth and webbed hind feet have remained relatively unchanged for over 200 million years.
 
Amphibious life
Found throughout billabongs, rivers and wetlands of Northern Australia, Freshwater Crocodiles are well adapted to an amphibious life. They can hold their breath under water for up to an hour and swim rapidly by means of their powerful tails. On land they move very quickly over short distances and can propel themselves at great speed down sloping river banks into water.
 
Top of the food chain
Lone Pine is home to Freshwater Crocodiles which are smaller than their saltwater relatives and are recognised by their long, narrow snout. Although active during the day, Freshwater Crocodiles are ambush predators by night, feeding on insects, fish, frogs, lizards and birds.
 
Did you know?
Despite appearances, turtles and birds are more closely related to crocodiles than lizards.
 
Mertens’ Water Monitor
Amphibious life
Mertens' Water Monitors are rarely seen far from water and are often found climbing on rocks or trees or basking on branches overhanging rivers, creeks and billabongs. This amphibious lizard can remain under water for several minutes with the help of a special nostril valve that shuts tightly when the monitor submerges.
 
Meat lover
Mertens' Water Monitors are carnivores, preferring fish, frogs and small mammals but will also eat insects, lizards and carrion. These monitors have a very good sense of smell and often dig up prey when foraging for food.
 
Vulnerable species
The introduced Cane Toad is a major threat to the Mertens' Water Monitor, as they compete for food sources. Monitors also eat Cane Toads and die when they ingest the toxins in the toad's skin.
 
Freshwater Turtle
Turtle, terrapin or tortoise?
There are many lifestyle differences between turtles and tortoises. At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, we display
 
Did you know?
Some freshwater turtles, like the Mary River Turtle, can breathe underwater using special air sacs near their bottoms.
 
Freshwater feeders
Most freshwater turtles eat both plants and meat, but some species are entirely herbivorous or entirely carnivorous. Freshwater turtles take advantage of the potential food sources around them and are not fussy about their meals. Depending on the species, turtles feed on a mixture of invertebrates, crustaceans, fish, tadpoles and aquatic plants.
 
 
Nature's little helpers
Seed dispersal and vegetation management, control of insect and snail populations and keeping water clean by scavenging dead animals are just a few of the things turtles do to help their ecosystems.
 
Perentie
Australia's largest lizard 
The Perentie can grow to around 2.5 metres in length, making this arid region species the largest lizard in Australia. Perenties use their size to deter potential threats by rising up, swelling their throat and hissing. Their whip-like tail may also be used as a means of defence. If all else fails, they run away.
 
Meat for carnivores
Perenties are carnivores and prey on a variety of food including insects, birds, eggs, small mammals and other reptiles. A large, full mature Perentie may even attack small kangaroos. The Perentie will violently shake the prey until it is dead and then swallow it whole.
 
A tongue for smelling
Monitors like the Perentie differ from all other lizards due to their forked tongue. They constantly flick their tongue in and out; picking up scents from the air interpreting them with a structure on the roof of their mouth called the Jacobson’s organ.
 
Did you know?
Research suggests that monitors have the remains of a venom gland, which may explain why bites from these lizards take a long time to heal.
 
BIRDS
Australian Wood Duck
 
A duck of out water
The Australian Wood Duck is the least aquatic of all Australian ducks, and is commonly seen grazing on grass and herbs. They nest high up in tree hollows, sometimes up to a kilometre from water.
 
The first flight
The female duck teaches her newborn ducklings to fly and leave the nest by repeatedly flying to and from the nest and the ground, while calling out to her young along the way.
 
Love ducks
The male and female Australian Wood Ducks form a very strong bond. Choosing to stay together and mate for life, if possible.
 
 
Barking Owl
Ninox connivens
 
Superior hunter
The large, yellow eyes of the Barking Owl mark this bird as a type of hawk owl. Prey is hunted with keen eyesight and seized in powerful talons from the ground, from trees and even mid-flight.
 
What's on the menu?
The Barking Owl hunts at twilight, searching its woodland habitat for mammals, reptiles, insects and even other birds. Prey up to the size of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos can be caught. Any food too big to be swallowed whole is torn up with the sharp, curved beak and eaten piece by piece.
 
Screaming-woman bird
These owls are named for their 'barking' call but can also make a much louder, wailing cry, which has given rise to another name, the 'screaming-woman bird'.
Some believe the call of the owl to be the source of the Bunyip myth.
 
Blue-winged Kookaburra
Kookaburra club
Blue-winged Kookaburras are the smaller, shyer relative of the well-known Laughing Kookaburra. Blue-winged Kookaburras prefer wetter habitat, although where living space of the two kookaburra species overlaps, it is not unusual to a few Blue-winged Kookaburras and several Laughing Kookaburras in a row, watching motionlessly for movement of prey below.
 
Family life
Blue-winged Kookaburras mate for life and live in family groups consisting of a breeding pair, their current brood and offspring from previous years. Offspring usually live with their parents for several years, perfecting the skills required to find a mate and establish a territory of their own.
 
Meat-lovers
Blue-winged Kookaburras are carnivores. They take a wide variety of prey including insects, frogs, crayfish, small birds, spiders, worms, reptiles and small mammals.
Large prey items like lizards and snakes are bashed against a tree or a rock, to kill them and soften them up before they are eaten.
 
Bush Thick-knee
 
Predator of the night Bush Thick-knees (also known as the Bush Stone-curlew) emerge at dusk, walking or flying out to forage either on land or in water. These ground-dwelling birds are omnivores, feeding primarily on insects, molluscs, lizards and seeds.
Superior camouflage
During the day, Bush Thick-knees roost on the ground, relying on their cryptic plumage to protect them from predators. When disturbed, they freeze motionless, often in odd-looking postures.
On the decline
Bush Thick-knees are listed internationally as 'Near Threatened' due to widespread population decline in the southern parts of Australia. Habitat destruction as well as fox and cat predation are major threats to this species.
 
 
Cockatoo
 
Cockatoo communication
Recognisable by their curved beaks and showy crests, cockatoos communicate using vocalisations and body language, often raising their crests in greeting, excitement or alarm.
 
Hello cockie!
Cockatoos, along with some parrots, have the most evolved brains in all birds. They became easily habituated among people, and can imitate all sorts of noises, including human words. Listen carefully to see if you can recognise Lone Pine's cockatoo conversations!
 
Faithful lovers
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are highly social and monogamous breeders, with pair bonds lasting many years, sometimes for life.
 
 
Lone Pine's Eagle Island
 
Welcome to Eagle Island, home to Wedge-tailed Eagles ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Talon’. Phoenix and Talon arrived at Lone Pine separately due to injuries sustained in the wild. Unfortunately, the eagles never regained flight capabilities and were unsuitable for release. On a positive note, Wedge-tailed Eagles mate for life and Phoenix and Talon are now a bonded pair.
 
Australia's largest raptor
Raptors are birds of prey that hunt for food primarily in flight, and catch their food with their feet. They have powerful feet with sharp talons, a hooked beak and excellent eyesight. With a wingspan of up to 2.5 metres, Wedge-tailed Eagles are Australia's largest bird of prey and one of the most powerful raptors in the world. These eagles can lift an impressive 50% of their body weight.
 
Difficult past
Until the 1960s Wedge-tailed Eagles were persecuted as a threat to lambs and sheep. Seeing the birds picking at carcasses led graziers to assume they were responsible for killing the stock. Research established that Wedge-tailed Eagles rarely attack fit lambs, let alone full-grown sheep. These birds usually prey on rabbits, birds, reptiles, mammals and carrion. Today this species is protected throughout Australia.
 
Did you know? Wedge-tailed Eagles can soar on air currents for hours at a time, reaching altitudes of two kilometres.
 
Gang-gang Cockatoo
Cockatoo communication
Recognisable by their curved beaks and showy crests, cockatoos communicate using vocalisations and body language, often raising their crests in greeting, excitement or alarm.
 
Escaping the heat
During the hottest part of the day, Gang-gangs will sit still among the branches of a eucalypt for hours, perhaps joining in mutual preening.
 
What's on the menu?
Gang-gangs feed mainly on the seeds of native shrubs and trees, including eucalyptus, acacias, cypress pine and introduced hawthorn species. These noisy feeders crack seed capsules open with their strong bills and bite off clusters of berries or seeds, holding them in one foot to eat.
 
Golden-shouldered Parrot
A rare beauty
One of the main reasons for the decline of this endangered species is the illegal wildlife trafficking trade. The striking colours and slender build of this parrot has made it a popular species of wildlife smugglers, who remove the birds from Australia, devastating their wild populations.
 
There's no place like home!
Golden-shouldered Parrots have unique nesting habits. Breeding pairs dig a burrow measuring up to half a metre inside a 35 to 50 year old termite mound. Pairs will rarely nest in the same termite mound twice, making it tough to find suitable nesting sites each year.
 
What's for lunch?
Throughout the Golden-shouldered Parrot's grassy woodland habitat, it is often seen on the ground, feeding on grass seeds. During the wet season, food shortages occur and the parrots are forced to adapt their diet. Cattle grazing and farming have also reduced the availability of annual and perennial grass seeds.
 
Laughing Kookaburra
Territorial legends
The Laughing Kookaburra is the world's largest kingfisher but unlike most of its relatives, it is sedentary and occupies the same territory year round. Their unique call advertises territory throughout their eucalypt woodland and open forest habitats.
 
 
Perch and pounce hunters
To catch its food, the meat-loving kookaburra uses a wait-and-pounce technique. With a good view of its prey, the kookaburra drops straight down from its perch, beak ready to grab its food. Large prey items like lizards and snakes are bashed against a tree or a rock, to kill them and soften them up before they are eaten.
 
Family ties
Laughing Kookaburras mate for life and establish a social system in which only the dominant male and female in a family group will breed. Nests are made in tree hollows or termite mounds and the entire family contributes to incubation, feeding, and protection of the young.
 
Did you know?
According to legend, the kookaburra's morning call is a signal for the sky people to light the great fire that illuminates and warms the earth by day.
 
 
Little Corella
A noisy bunch!
Little Corellas are an expressive, social bird with a variety of vocal sounds. The most common is the alarm call, which is a piercing boisterous screech. A variety of contact calls can also be heard from large flocks in flight. Several thousands of corellas have been seen to flock together, mostly at roosting time, midday and night.
 
Home decorating
Little Corellas are quiet and secretive in their nesting sites. Breeding pairs prepare their site with fresh litter by chewing the inside a tree hollow. Some pairs develop a permanent bond and inhabit the same nesting site over several years.
 
Little Corella picnic
Although the little corellas roost in trees, they mostly feed on the ground, consuming various seeds and legumes. Some corellas in Western Australia have adapted a longer bill to help them dig up and feed on bulbs.
 
 
 
 
Lorikeets
Brightly coloured acrobats
All six native Australian lorikeet species are brightly coloured
and intelligent. Although each species varies in shades of colour and markings, most are outgoing, chatty and dexterous in nature. Strong feet and legs coupled with tapered wings and pointed tails allow them to fly easily and display great agility.
 
Hair-tipped tongue
Lorikeets are one of the few parrots that eat mainly nectar and pollen and therefore have a specialised hair-tipped tongue for feeding. They can feed from the flowers of about 5,000 species of plants, including eucalyptus and grevillea.
 
Backyard buddy
The best action you can take to attract these amazing birds to your backyard is to grow native plants.  Visit our souvenir shop for native seeds to start your own backyard sanctuary.
 
Did you know?
The Rainbow Lorikeet was the first Australian bird ever to be illustrated in colour in 1774.
 
 
Major Mitchell Cockatoo
 
Pink Cockatoo or Major Mitchell?
Often called a pink cockatoo due to its soft pink body colouring, the Major Mitchell Cockatoo is in fact named after Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, who was a surveyor and explorer of South-east Australia during the 1800s.
Faithful Lovers
During the mating season, males attract females by strutting along branches bobbing their heads with their crests raised. Like many Australian cockatoos, adult pairs mate for life and return to the same breeding grounds year after year.
 
What's on the menu?
At times Major Mitchell Cockatoos will feed on various insects, however their diet primarily consists of over 30 species of plants including wattles,hakeas, grevilleas and pines throughout their shrub and woodland habitat.
 
Pheasant Coucal
Pheasant or cuckoo?
The Pheasant Coucal is not a pheasant but a longed-tailed relative of the cuckoo, with limited powers of flight. Unlike other Australian cuckoos however, the coucal does not parasitise the nest of other birds. Instead these birds build a roofed nest with both sexes incubating the eggs and sharing the feeding duties.
Secretive ground dwellers
Usually heard rather than seen, the distinctive, hollow 'oop, oop' call is repeated many times increasing in pitch and speed. When the Pheasant Coucal is spotted, it is most commonly seen running across the ground or perched on fence posts or dead trees.
 
Princess Parrot
Elusive nomads
This species is nomadic, arriving in small groups to breed and then disappearing, sometimes up to decades at a time. Little is known about the habits of the Princess
Parrot as few bird experts have been lucky enough to see it in the wild.
 
Mobbing
They are unusual among parrots as they engage in mobbing behaviour against predators such as the Australian Hobby.
 
A royal name
Also known as the Alexandra's Parrot and Rose-throated Parakeet, this species was named in honour of Queen Alexandra when she was Princess of Wales.
 
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
Cockatoo communication
Recognisable by their curved beaks and showy crests, cockatoos communicate using vocalisations and body language, often raising their crests in greeting, excitement or alarm.
 
Family birds
Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are often seen flying in small flocks, although flocks of up to 200 birds have been sighted in the northern range of distribution. These flocks consist of pairs, family groups, or parties of several family groups.
 
What's on the menu?
Red-tailed Black Cockatoos primarily feed high in tree tops on eucalyptus seeds, nuts, fruit and occasionally insect larvae.
 
Red-winged Parrot
Tree lovers
The Red-winged Parrot usually comes to ground only to drink, preferring to groom, feed and breed in their favoured eucalypt woods. As with many Australian parrot species, Red-winged Parrots rely on tree hollows to raise their young.
 
Courtship dance
When courting, the male Red-winged Parrot chatters softly while taking short flights around the female. He perches nearby the female and droops his wings, exposing the blue on his lower back. He then draws his body plumage in tightly and takes two or three slow steps towards the female.
 
Private parrots
Red-winged Parrots are not as communal as some of their relatives; they are usually seen in pairs or small family groups. This species feeds on seeds, fruits, buds and blossoms, however rarely gather in feeding flocks.
 
Southern Cassowary
Rainforest warriors
The large, flightless Southern Cassowary is a resident of the north-eastern rainforests of Queensland. Due to the tall, bony helmet (called a casque) and 120mm claw on the inside toe of each foot, cassowaries are also known as 'Rainforest Warriors'. They use their casque to tear a path through thick undergrowth and their claws to defend their young.
 
Did you know?
Although the emu is Australia's tallest bird, the cassowary is the heaviest, with females weighing up to 70kg.
 
 
New trees from poo
Cassowaries feed on almost anything, including fallen fruit, fungi, snails and dead or living rats, birds and lizards. Due to its body and territory size, cassowaries make excellent rainforest gardeners. Seeds pass through the bird's body intact, and in this way it disperses the seeds of more than 100 plant species.
 
 
On the brink - twofold
There are many reasons why the Southern Cassowary is an endangered species, however interference with its habitat is a serious problem for not only the bird but for many plant species. The cassowary may be the only seed-disperser in its habitat and the loss of this species could mean the loss of the only method of seed dispersal for many rainforest plants.
 
Tawny Frogmouth
I am not an owl!
Though often mistaken for an owl, the Tawny Frogmouth belongs to the Nightjar family.
 
Clever camouflage
The Tawny Frogmouth displays excellent camouflage. Helped by the colours of its feathers,these birds stay perfectly still, with their heads tilted upright, making them hard to distinguish from the tree.
 
The waiting game
Tawny Frogmouths remain silent and still while waiting for their prey to come to them, rather than seeking out their food. Once their prey is in sight, Tawny Frogmouths pounce down from their tree branch. Prey include insects, frogs and other small animals.
 
Varied Lorikeet
Brightly coloured acrobats
All six native Australian lorikeet species are brightly coloured and intelligent. Although each species varies in shades of colour and markings, most are outgoing, chatty and dexterous in nature. Strong feet and legs coupled with tapered wings and pointed tails allow them to fly easily and display great agility.
Hair-tipped tongue
Lorikeets are one of the few parrots that eat mainly nectar and pollen and therefore have a specialised brush-tipped tongue for feeding. Favoured nectar sources of the Varied Lorikeet include eucalyptus, paperbarks and grevilleas.
Energetic eaters
Varied Lorikeets congregate in small or large flocks, dominating feeding sources and scrambling about foliage, clinging in all possible positions to flowering sprays. Sometimes they chase one another from the preferred tree, bowing and hissing in threat.
 
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