They’re two of my favourite birds; the Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – with their lazy slow wing-beats and creaking call, and the shy Gang-gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), creaking and croaking from the trees, often accompanied by a near constant crack-crack-crack as they crack open gumnuts.

Neither seem very common in Melbourne, I sometimes see black cockies in the trees along the creek during the winter, but can’t remember seeing any gang-gangs, both are more a bird of the forests.

Yesterday on the ride home I was crossing over Dandenong road and heard the unmistakable call from the gum trees above me. Looking around while riding down a twisting ramp there it was in the branches above me, possibly with another.

Today I took a detour on the ride home, off up along Scotchmans creek through Mount Waverley and then a long loop down along the Glen Waverley rail line. Near the end of Lawrence road a distinctive creaking had me looking up into the trees alongside the path. I couldn’t see it, but somewhere up there was a gang-gang talking to itself and cracking gumnuts.

Female Gang-gang cockatoo in a hawthorn bush

Coincidentally, earlier in the day Jo had ridden through much the same area and had the same experience – and same surprise – at hearing a gang-gang in suburbia, probably the same bird.