13 July 2011

Devils in Disguise

They are the vandals of the bird kingdom.  Beautiful to look at, but it's all downhill after that.  As they flash by my floor-to-ceiling windows catching the meagre winter light, I actually think that brilliant white kites have been let loose in the sky.  Enter the Sulfur crested cockatoo.  Named so, I think, not for their bright yellow crest - which is the colour of sulphur - but more so because of the smell that sulphur gives off and its resemblance to the character of the bird (rotten).
Eyeing off fresh tasty treats from my herb garden.

All in all there were 27 of them!!


They retreated to the safety of loftier heights.
There they were all arranged in their sentry-like stance leering over my newly-planted herbs from the safety of the rooftop.  Needless to say I ran outside and (after photographing them) began waving my arms and yelling like a banshee, to which they all took off in terrified (read nonchalant) flight and resettled themselves from a higher vantage point.

So far my herbs have remained intact - but I remain vigilant.

Not so lucky my neighbours protea shrub - which is just beginning to sprout its giant spring blooms.  Yesterday I returned from a morning of running errands only to see the footpath and surrounding lawn littered with the detritus of the protea.  I really did think that vandals had taken a baseball bat to the tree - not that such things happen around here - but the amount of damage was remarkable.

When I looked closer in the surrounding trees what should I see but the black cousin of the Sulphur crested cockatoo, the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo.  I have lived in this part of Melbourne for twenty years now and I have never seen these devils before.  I wonder what recent freak of nature has sent these ne'er-do-wells of the skies scurrying to this end of Melbourne?  Probably habitat destruction.

"On closer internet inspection it turns out that they are native to this area," she reported sheepishly.  Perhaps we are the marauding invaders and they are merely exacting their revenge?



Do you have any wildlife in your garden that you would like to change?

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen the Black Cockatoos in Suburban Melbourne either.

    We think we have solved a mystery in the last few days relating to wildlife...

    Every so often, we wake up in the middle of the night to a noise which sounds like the beeping from a clock radio alarm.

    We have not been able to work out where it was coming from, but I suspected that one of our neighbours might be a shift worker with a really loud alarm clock,(we live in a small gully with about 6 immediate neighbours due to the shape of our block).

    The other night (at 2:30am) I realised that although the beeps were regular, there were pauses in the beeping, at irregular intervals.

    After searching around on Google for night bird sound files, I think our culprit is actually a Tawny Frog Mouth. One of it's three calls sounds just like an electronic alarm clock in the distance.
    http://birdsinbackyards.net/images/audio/podargus-strigoides.mp3

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