Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Black Cockies take time out at my place.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) are a regular bird around Robertson. Scarcely a day goes by when I do not hear them, or see them (except in mid-spring when they are nesting in the huge Gum Trees which they need for their nests). At that time, they are down in the tall Eucalypt forests around Belmore Falls - just 5 kilometres away. But I do not see them for that period.

As soon as they youngsters are able to fly, the parents bring them back up the hill to Robertson where there is abundant food for them. The fact that they love Pine Trees, and seedling pine trees become 20 metre high weeds is another story.
Today the Black Cockatoos came into my yard.




By saying they came into my yard I mean they came right in amongst my Blackwood trees, instead of just flying over - from one Pine Tree to another.

These birds always seem to me as if they are born (hatched - but that's not the right expression) - "born with a spanner in their face". They chew on things because they can. In fact they seem compelled to chew on things.

Click on this image to see the enormous beak in action.
Black Cockatoo chewing on dead wood of tree (click to enlarge)





Two Black Cockies flying over
A family of these birds can make an awful racket. I have come to like their weird howling call (listen here) - as it is so preposterous, so incongruous. But when the young birds are around they make a combination of seemingly incessant low croaking or moaning calls. But when they are begging for food, or being fed by regurgitation, by the adults, they make a fast repetitive noise (eh,eh,eh,eh,eh).

It is a noise only a parent Black Cockatoo can love.


 At last a half-way decent overhead shot.
Fortunately, Zoe was with me, and called out 
that they were flying over my head.
Click to enlarge this image.


Male Black Cockatoo - with red skin around the eye (click to enlarge).
The red eye is a surprise (that one can see it so clearly). It indicates a male bird.

7 comments:

mick said...

I agree that they are beautiful birds and fascinating to watch but so messy and destructive! In NSW where I used to live we had to rake the mess of the lawn - bits of fallen pine cones - before we could mow the grass!

Le Loup said...

I love to see the Black Cockies about the place. These birds are to me what the Canada Goose is to Americans. When they come back after winter I know that spring has arrived.
Good post, thank you.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick and Le Loup.
Well, one good thing is you both confirm that they are still around, and widely spread.
Obviously my observation of them disappearing to breed is not just my imagination.
And Mick confirms their obsession with Pine Cones.
Cheers
Denis

Snail said...

They're such charismatic vandals!

Denis Wilson said...

Yeah, vandals all right, but more interesting than Termites (unless one is a specialist entomologist).
One Cockie can rip open a medium Blackwood Wattle in minutes - to get the grub out.
Yum.
Denis

Beth Boughton said...

Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos are one of my most favourite Birds.....aren't we so lucky to share this planet with such wonderful creatures!!!!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Beth.
Yes, I agree. Wonderful funny, noisy annoying creatures.
Cheers
Denis