Friday, 1 March 2013

Dispatches from the Tropics: 1 March 2013


I was staring out of the window the other day — an activity that I like to call 'seeking inspiration', although it is better known by its synonym 'procrastination' — when I noticed something white in one of the citrus trees. I thought it might have been a plastic shopping bag, as unlikely as that was. But when I whipped out the binoculars, I saw it was a lone sulphur-crested cockatoo...

Cockatoo feasts while magpie-lark flies past appalled

...a lone sulphur-crested cockatoo that proceeded to consume more than three dozen limes during the course of the afternoon. Fascinated by the bird's prodigious appetite and wondering at what point the acidity was going turn its beak inside out, I watched it for over an hour. I'm not proud of that. I merely report it.

Unsurprisingly, the bird has not yet returned to the garden.

11 comments:

mick said...

Those birds are the most destructive to come into my garden. I'm surprised you had a citrus tree left when the bird finally left.

Snail said...

I think it's because it started on the lime. Had it been one of the sweeter fruits, there would have been absolute devastation!

Thank goodness it didn't take an interest in the gutters or window ledges.

citybushie said...

At least there was only one, not a whole flock.

Snail said...

:) Something I am grateful for!

I think the rest of them were off picking over someone's newly-planted paddock or tip-pruning the tea plantation.

Sherryl Clark said...

The parrots in my suburb in Melbourne are getting more and more destructive. Every apple (still very green) on my tree is half-chewed. And then the neighbour's conifers were covered in white cockatoos, all munching on the green cones. Is this a new thing - all these birds in the city?

Snail said...

I wish they'd finish what they're eating before they move onto the next one!

In Footscray, small flocks of long-billed corellas would periodically sweep through, causing havoc with conifers. I'm not sure that its new, but it did seem to be becoming more frequent.

Sherryl Clark said...

It's interesting, because 5 years ago we could say it's the drought and they need food, but now? With all the cats etc that live in suburbia, you don't want to encourage them (let alone the fruit tree damage - don't get me started on the apricots).

Snail said...

It's the same story with crested pigeons, I think.

Perhaps it was the drought, but now they've discovered that town is a good source of food with all those fruits trees...

citybushie said...

Rainbow Lorikeets,Crested Pigeons and
Corellas, have increased in numbers over the last 20 or so years.As have White Cockatoos and Galahs.I think its because of the amount of bush land that's being cleared,forcing them to invade suburbia.

Snail said...

Of course. I didn't even think of clearing. :(


citybushie said...

The clearing has caused several problems.The destruction of our natural habitat has caused, the loss of some species,and a reduction in numbers of others.Also some species that like the open woodland created by our farmland, have increased greatly in numbers.