The Rusty Hinge Bird – Nature Blog
 Baw Baw Nature Blog   By // 20:10, Sunday 6 April 2014

gang-gang two by Gouldiae

My recent move from Heyfield to West Gippsland has introduced me to different habitat and different birds. Rose Robins, Large-billed Scrubwrens, Black-faced Monarchs and so on were few and far between further east!

Photos and words by ‘Gouldiae’. Above: male Gang-gang. Below: female Gang-gang.

The last few mornings however one very familiar call has greeted me.


Around this time of year, like quite a number of other species, the Gang-gang Cockatoos come down from the mountains to spend the winter in the low country’s warmer climes. You are alerted to their arrival by either their creaky growl, rusty hinge-like call or by the sound, and sometimes the feel, of discarded nuts and berries dropping to the ground from the canopy of particular trees – acacias, hakeas, cypress pines to name a few.

The Gang-gang is very approachable when feeding, a quite unusual trait for a bird and a particularly handy one for a birdwatcher. They will often return to the same tree for several days until they have virtually exhausted the food supply. A particular hakea beside the 18th green at the Heyfield Golf Club is stripped nearly bare every year!

gang-gang one by Gouldiae

Common to us in Gippsland, this stunning bird is not a widespread species. It only occupies a thin coastal strip from around mid northern New South Wales, down through Victoria and just over the border with South Australia.


Like most bird species, the male Gang-gang with his fiery red head and crest is the more striking of the pair, but if you get the chance for an up-close view, the subtle red/tan barring on the chest plumage of the female is beautiful.

Despite the damage they can inflict on a young tree or shrub, the Gang-gang is a welcome invader to my garden.

For more from the author, click here to visit ‘Gouldiae’s Blog’.

 Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen 

 Read more Baw Baw Nature Blog