Sulphur-crested Cockatoos

Two sulphur-crested cockatoos visited yesterday, and one today.  These three often fly around together, but rarely seem to feed at the same time. One might be in a nearby tree keeping watch and will arrive on his own.  The main flocks will be out in the vineyards at this time of the year, or in home orchards.

The last two days have been heavily overcast, and it is late in the day, washing out the colour.

Despite the single cockie spotting me instantly, I managed to creep across the room to take the last three photos without startling it into flight. The overhead light was on and the result  would be improved if only I had thought to turn it off.

We are looking at these birds through my lounge window – and a net curtain. They are sitting on my front fence eating birdseed. Click on any picture and it will take you to the gallery for bigger images.


21 thoughts on “Sulphur-crested Cockatoos

  1. What great birds to have sitting on your front wall! Would they fly off if they saw you move the net curtain back? I just wondered how timid they were. You’re lucky to have such exotic creatures around the place.

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    • These birds are really common here, Millie. They are on the timid side because people are always hunting them off their crops, fruit trees or grapevines or whatever. They usually fly away if they see movement inside the house. 🙂

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  2. Well, bring a smile to my heart! 😉 Funny as I say this my Cockatoo is on my knee preening himself, my Grey nearby doing just the same. Surely the Cockatoo isn’t far from getting himself into trouble though. And so it makes me wonder about these guys you have out your window, which btw are they as close to your window as they look? All I can think besides, “Wow, that’s incredible”, is mischief. 🙂 I’ve seen videos online of wild cockatoos tearing up parts of people’s houses, I don’t know that a whole flock of them wouldn’t make me nervous!

    That’s interesting that these three have found a “secret stash” at your place while the others are off somewhere together. I agree with you that the third is probably playing the role of sentinel somewhere nearby. These are great pics, especially of the one with its crest up!! They do that when they’re alert, spooked, and/or excited, definitely a clear sign that he saw you. Are the vineyards/orchards close to you? I’m just wondering how far from the rest of the flock they travel? Do you ever hear just the birds in the distance, without seeing them? Mine is so, so loud his voice echos down the street. When I take them for walks I think he freaks people out. I’m wondering if these Sulphur-crested are as loud in the wild. From my knowledge White Cockatoos (Umbrellas) like mine are not found in Australia, rather they are from Indonesia, along with the Moluccan, or Salmon-crested, Cockatoo and I think a few others.

    Thank you for sharing these, they’re quite a treat. If you’re interested you might even try nuts and/or fruits. The two things I know Parrots can’t have are chocolate and avocado, they are essentially allergic to them.

    Cheers to you and your Cockies! (You’ll find I quite enjoy picking your brain about these visitors of yours, I hope you don’t mind. ;))

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    • I don’t mind you making me think about what these cockatoos are doing! They do screech now and then, but usually only when flying past. They are loud. A few times one will perch in the gumtree out front and screech at the house like he’s annoyed about the lack of seed. I’ve found out about a other suitable food mixes to give them after looking it up online, but I don’t want to encourage them that much, sooner or later a group of 20 will turn up. eLPy, I don’t really know if these three really ever travel with a bigger flock. I see them come from the forest range across the road, first two and then the other trailing or the other way round. The other day, I saw a smallish group eating on the roadside – out front on the other side of the highway, near the drain – the rain must have produced something worth eating. Our small town is pretty much surrounded by small vineyards these days. I might take the dog up behind our house today, see what’s happening there. The vines will be swathed in bird netting, I imagine.

      And yes, the birds are as close as they seem, as our house is about a pace and a half behind the fence line. In the last photo, he was getting bothered as I made my way closer, he even began getting his wings ready with a slight movement. I backed off and he stayed until the few seeds were gone. 😀

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      • Wonderful! I won’t stop then. 😉

        I wouldn’t in the least be surprised if they would flock around you like Seagulls at the landfill! I’m so curious about these three now, if they’re just doing their own thing, perhaps a family group; if they’re part of the larger group and just split off once and a while so as not to share the bounty. If it’s breeding season that might make even more sense…hmmm

        Wow, surrounded by vineyards, sounds interested. I’ll admit to some more envy. 🙂 I bet it’s beautiful. But they probably despise those birds.

        How great that they get even that close. They can’t be too skittish then. At least you know what to look for to know when you’ve spooked them. Body language is important even in birds. 🙂

        Thanks as always for sharing.

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  3. Sue says:

    Don’t mind the netting at all, doesn’t spoil the shots. They are wonderful to see in flight, you can hear them coming for miles. Feel sorry for them when they set off fireworks at the show grounds, they go into panic mode, the poor things

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    • Three make enough noise! They can’t seem to fly anywhere without screeching to each other. The fireworks would sound like people shooting at them. They used to use those automatic guns (blanks) at the vineyards. Now I think they rely on just covering the vines. 🙂


      • Sue says:

        about 2 years ago Jaime took young Julius to the “Big Rocking Horse”, walking around they came to cocky cage with big sign not to stick fingers through the wire, & even though Julius was warned, guess what he did? Yep, he did, then promptly took off with a scream and Jaime had to catch him. Would have loved to have been there to see it, Julius has never forgotten that.

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  4. These are lovely birds, I hope they don’t become a problem! They can be naughty. My friend had a pet cockatoo when we were kids, and he was quite a personality. I hear they can peck at the wood and demolish wooden verandahs!! Unpecking the pegs from the washing hanging on the line was another trick, the one I knew, could do!!

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    • Hi Barbara, apart from grandma’s cockatoo, I haven’t had much up close and personal experience. I’ve heard the electricity people have trouble with the birds pecking off insulation. They must love gnawing on stuff, then. Grandma’s cockie would try and coax us kids to put our fingers in so he could nip. He’d sidle up to the wire. He used to laugh and talk. 🙂

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  5. la_lasciata says:

    Nice shots; but the NOISE, Christine ! And I’m told that it’s the s-ccs that do the most damage to … well, just about anything … wires, tarps, garage roofs, fence-posts: you name it, the s-ccs will chew it.
    You don’t have that problem ?

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    • No, not at all. Ours isn’t a place that they settle on. Swing by and have a bit of seed and a drink but don’t normally hang about. In spring, when there’s onion grass and grubs, a small flock will come and spend days scratching out front – but apart from that we aren’t annoyed by them at all.

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