Cockatoos and Australian King Parrots….waiting for spring

So, what to do in winter if you are a cockatoo?

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos living in Canberra have an abundance of food, and very few enemies. So there is plenty of recreational time.

…During the dreary winter days why not practice undoing knots, and a tennis net is just the thing….

Parrot experts say that the parrot family are the smartest of all bird families, they continue to learn as they grow, rather than relying on instinct.

Luckily humans leave tempting problems like street lamps and tennis nets, and almonds wedged in the roof of carports..

A Sulphur Crested Cockatoo looking for almonds on the carport roof..

The Little Corella is a cousin of the cockatoo, and has become a frequent visitor to the Canberra region in recent years….judging by the amount of lamp post covers swinging in the wind.

Members of the Canberra Ornithologist Group have noticed Corellas teasing rows of Crested Pigeons perched on power lines by pushing them off balance..(obviously the Little Corella has no problem with balance)

Little Corella Judith Leitch

There is something very sweet about these Crested Pigeons, who manage to keep their fine hairdos in place regardless of the weather…(or teasing going on)

Crested pigeons

In June, the beginning of winter, we usually have cold crisp days, with blue skies…

Food is still in abundance…

The Crimson Rosella feasting amongst the grass seeds in our garden

Then comes the grey, cold July days, and life becomes a bit tougher..

The male Australian King Parrot with vivid orange and deep green colouring, and the female Australian King Parrot with a softer green and orange chest.

On cold winter mornings these King Parrots perch on the guttering of our cabin in the garden. There they drink the melted icy water after a frosty night.

We have a Japanese Maple growing between the cabin in the garden and our house. This year the King Parrots have come to feed on the dried seed pods…

.. giving us a perfect chance for photos as we sit in the sunroom having coffee..

The female Australian King Parrot
The male King Parrot

The male King Parrot spends a lot of time rearranging his tail so that he can eat in comfort.

The male King Parrot, finishing a good meal!

This magnificent Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo flew into my neighbour’s garden last winter, and used the Silver Birch tree as a viewing platform in the hunt for food..

(Despite their regal appearance,  I read recently that their cousins the Orange-tailed Black Cockatoo in Western Australia have suffered injuries from Raven attacks.)

A Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

A Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding from a Banksia bush..

And now, in mid-August, there is warmth in the air, and the skies are occasionally blue again.

We saw this Magpie on our walk this morning, and he began warbling…… a very familiar and much loved Australia Magpie call.

My Scottish father used to say the bagpipes brought ”a stirring” to his heart and I think a Magpie’s warbling brings a stirring to most Australian hearts.

and back home, here is another important member of our garden bird family ….one very noisy Cockatoo!

”I told you spring was coming…doesn’t anybody listen to me anymore?”

… it is true, spring is almost here!

Paul and I are also waiting for a very special event in our lives, my daughter and her husband are soon to have a baby, our first grandchild!

Lake Tuggeranong

With the early morning light increasing, I have been getting up early (hard to sleep in when waiting for baby) and reading and enjoying many blogs …a lovely distraction.

May you enjoy your season, and green spaces, where ever you live in the world…

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved


20 Replies to “Cockatoos and Australian King Parrots….waiting for spring”

  1. Magpie warbling was my first Australian sound when I immigrated from Africa. It felt like a warm welcome and still does.

  2. A great post full of beautiful and interesting pictures. All the best for the grandchild to be, how exciting.

  3. Spring, all these gorgeous feathered friends AND a new grand baby – you’re living right. 🙂 As we start to see the leaves fall, yours start bursting forth. And, as I hear noisy black crows you have all these gorgeous birds. Not fair. 🙂 Being a grandparent is the best job in the entire world, it just doesn’t last long enough. So, enjoy every moment so you can keep warm with those memories as those little tykes grow up way too fast and set out on their own lives. I miss mine. 🙂

    1. Good advice Judy, yes we are looking forward to being grandparents….how quickly time goes by, especially when you are having fun!

    1. The Crimson Rosllas are very low key & definitely would not try getting between a cockatoo & a tennis court …. They know their place!

  4. So many beautiful birds. I love the parrot family, they are such curious and inquisitive birds. Looking forward to hearing news of your grandchild. Best wishes to all your family 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruth, yes, hopefully the baby will be along soon! (due today….but no sign yet). Enjoy your lovely little grandson.

  5. What a marvelous post, how I enjoyed it, it’s always such a pleasure seeing your beautiful, exotic birds. I just love those cheeky cockatoos…how entertaining they are! As your air warms, so ours begins to chill! Oh, how wonderful, waiting for your first grandchild. I wait with baited breath for those first

    1. Thanks Dina, yes, those cockatoos are real characters. Just think, in a few months the baby will be able to see the Cockatoos in our garden, a new audience for them!

  6. Had to smile at your first picture. Your visiting birds all look as if they have so much character!

    I wonder if your grandchild has appeared yet. Both my children were late and those last few days felt endless! Sarah x

    1. Glad you enjoyed the cockatoos on the tennis court! Yes, the baby is a bit late, and my daughter is feeling as if the last few days ARE endless!

  7. It must be such a delight to have those colorful, entertaining birds right outside your winter. I can feel your excitement over spring’s arrival AND a grandchild! Enjoy.

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