Cockatoo Invasion

Monday morning saw Mat and I getting up early to make our first trip to work from the new house. I had not had the best night’s sleep and had been woken before the alarm again, first to the sound of maniacal laughs of the resident kookaburras and then to the screeching of cockatoos.

After Mat had left and I was just about to go into the kitchen to have some breakfast I realised I could hear a strange pattering of small feet on our balcony. It sounded like a small band of gnomes having a party out by the barbequeue so naturally I went to investigate. This is what met my eyes:

[click on the thumbnails to enlarge each image]

Of course I ran to get my camera and took as many pictures as I could before the battery went dead. At first I was worried they would all fly off on sight of me but unlike the other birds I try and photograph these cockatoos were true to their nickname – cocky! I was able to get up very close, within a foot from their faces, though I was not willing to try any closer due to their very strong beaks. When I used to try and stroke the lorikeets back in Collaroy they would give me little warning pecks and the thought of a cockatoo doing the same when their beaks have the equivalent strength of a Staffie’s jaws and could sever a finger with ease made me a bit more respectful.

I was quite pleased with these photos, especially the “pair of cockies”, hence adding this post to my photography category as well as general pictures. The morning was a little cloudy unfortunately and due to the whiteness of the cockies’ plumage the photos are slightly ‘blown out’. All good practice nonetheless.

Occasionally they would get a bit rowdy and start squawking at each other. It’s an awsome noise and when they do it in mid-flight as they pass overhead it makes me think of how terradactyls might have sounded like back in the day, very primaeval.

I captured this video clip as I disturbed them coming out of the bedroom door:

Fortunately, since Monday I have not been prematurely disturbed from my sleep by any noisy birds so I must have just been extra sensitive due to the stress of the move and tiredness. I’m guessing the people who lived here before us must have got into the habit of feeding the cockatoos, hence their invasion to see if the new residents had anything to offer.

We will not be feeding any cockatoos though; I have heard stories about people going on holiday and coming back to find their balcony ripped to shreds by the cockatoos out of shear spite, incensed by the fact that their feeders dared to abandom them for a week or two. Whether there is any truth to the stories or not, I am not willing to find out.

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