A "Black Cockie" settling in for lunch
Even on a damp wet day, a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo has to eat.
These birds (Calytorhynchus funereus) love to eat the seeds of the Monterey Pine (Pinus Radiata). Those trees were planted heavily around Robertson, by the early settlers here, and so, there are great food resources here for the Black Cockies.
In fact the Black Cockies spread the seeds of the Pine trees, so successfully that the pines are something of a weed around Robertson. The Cockies spread the seed not by ingesting the seeds and passing them through. When a Cockatoo eats a seed like that, it is chewed very badly and damaged.
Getting down to Lunch
No, what the Cockies do is steadily work on an entire pine cone, and then chew it off at the stalk, and often a bird will carry an entire cone away,
holding it in its beak. That is a fair achievement by a bird. It also makes them look very front-heavy when in flight - an odd sight indeed. Eventually, the Cockie gets fed up, literally, and will drop the cone, wherever it landed to eat it's "take-away" lunch. That is how such heavy cones get spread around Robertson, allowing seedling pine trees to sprout in new locations.
This bird is an adult female - with a pale brown beak.
"Can we go, now?"
The second bird in this pair, was sitting above the "busy" one, totally bored, and soaked.
If ever I saw a bird wanting to say "Can we go now?" it is this bird.
This bird is an adult male, with a dark brown-black beak, and a red eye ring.
The light was very poor, because of the rain. But the details of the bird's beak and eye ring are visible if you click on the photo to enlarge the image.