Describes the call of this “Cockatoo” in THE LANGUAGE OF THE Wiradjuri PEOPLE
A right proper name for our 1600-acre alpine reserve in southern NSW as there are numerous pairs of playful and charismatic gang-gang that come here to feed and breed alongside galahs and glossy black cockatoos. Unlike their rather distant cousins though, gang-gang nest in younger solid trees, and the females use their strong beaks to excavate nesting cavities.
While they can be mistaken in flight for galahs, the gang-gang are easily identified by their distinctive call, which is described as resembling a creaky gate or the sound of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle. Regardless, all of them form monogamous pairs, mating only with one another for many years and often rearing their young together, although in some species females are the primary caregivers and family planners. Males will often preen the female and vice versa, as well as complete courtship displays before nesting and at the beginning of the breeding season.
Widespread bushfires, loss of tree hollows, and reduced feeding habitat across south-eastern Australia through land clearing has led to a significant reduction in their numbers in recent years. As a result, the gang-gang is now listed as vulnerable in New South Wales. Our reserve has never been cleared and was lucky enough to escape the devastation of the 2019-20 bushfires, leaving valuable habitat for the birds and koalas alike. We’re also lucky to have a number of vulnerable and threatened species, including silver-leaved mountain gums (Eucalyptus pulverulenta), hoary sunray daisies and koalas.
Our priorities for the Gang-gang reserve are installing nesting boxes for the birds and procuring beehives to help with native flora pollination. We also need to install entry gates across two Crown fire trails now that enclosure permits have been issued, plus resolve some weed issues created by the Fire service needing to access water during the 2020 bushfires.