There is no doubt about it, although we have a wonderful range of birds in Canberra, the big birds are troublesome in the winter. This year we’ve had an abundance of rain, so there is plenty of greenery, lovely rich soil (thanks to Paul’s hard work) so there are worms aplenty. We also have four birdbaths, with fresh water and/or rain water.
However, a cockatoo on top of the veggie patch is an absolute no-no, and luckily we got home in time to see this… they do humour us by flying off when we chase them. ..but all gardeners know, they’ll be back!
However, this winter we have two breeds of birds that are new to this area. The White-winged Choughs, apparently are very sociable and love to move around in groups of up to ten.
According to the website, Birds in Backyards, White-Winged Choughs have claws a bit like a chicken, and can dig with their beaks and scratch with their claws. While we were away, they took the opportunity to rake over our back garden, and gradually turned over the veggie patch. We had a hard time persuading them to leave their garden paradise.
White winged Choughs are found in southern and eastern Australia, and are only distantly related to the European choughs. However, Kent Wildlife states that Choughs in Britain have a long history in heraldry in glass sculpture, coats of arms, flags, and even signs.
I read that Choughs are connected with kingship, nobility, wisdom and might.
I couldn’t wait to tell Paul our Choughs had long distance prestigious cousins. Paul, perhaps a little garden weary said “we should add that Australian choughs are just a nuisance.”
The Choughs have flown off to greener pastures, thank goodness, because we now have the Bower Birds.
Last year they pecked away at the foliage of our garlic crop, and this year they decimated the rhubarb and any other sign of life in the veggie garden.
Paul says they sound like Ewoks in Star Wars as they seem to chat and whistle to each other in the neighbouring trees. They are still visiting the garden, and we are still chasing them away.
Life is never dull with all these birds in the garden, but every now and then it is just lovely to see a shy King Parrot, patiently waiting for other birds to finish drinking from the bird bath. Perhaps we need a Canberra Coat of Arms for our King Parrot.
One thing about having cockatoos around every corner, we’re never lonely!
Best wishes to everyone, and may you have pleasant weather and enjoy your day.