Sunday Visitations

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The rainbow lorikeets sit in the shrub in the garden and call for a sunflower seed delivery.  They have two rather different sorts of conversational tone.  The first one is sweet and chirpy, talkative.  The second is screechy, almost imitative of cockatoos in its harshness.  These little buggers are territorial - even amongst each other.   A long, long stream of seeds, laid out along the railing of the decking and flung onto the ground - enough for everyone - does not stop their in- and outfighting.  They will yell at birds twice their size without a qualm.  Must be something to do with those little demonic red eyes :)
Pic by Fir002, used under a GNU free documentation license
I have a soft spot for the rosellas.  Far more timid than the lorikeets, they wait their turn, slipping in where they can.  They have the lovely soft chirps and conversational tones of the lorikeets without the screech.  When I was a second-floor flat dweller in Kew over a decade ago, I would be visited each day by a bunch of these guys.  They helped me feel grounded whilst on the second floor, even as they flew in and flew out.
Pic by Fir002, used under a GNU free documentation license
Hills-dwellers may squirm to see this bird here because cockatoos are pests.  It is hard to be amenable to a large bird who insists on eating portions of your house and who bullies the smaller birds but oh, I really do have a soft spot for these creatures.  They are so smart and they are such good listeners.  They sometimes sit on the eaves of the house and watch me as I come out the door, bobbing their head, thinking it through, missing nothing.  Their screech at dusk is cacophanous.

When I was an apprentice typesetter and our boss was away, one of my workmates brought in his pet cockatoo.  I sat working, with the excitement butterflies swimming around in delight in my stomach, with Ollie perched on my right shoulder, nibbling my ear.  These birds learn a lot and belie the term "birdbrain" at every turn.

Pic by Bloody Nick

The little kookaburra dudes have captured my heart - and the heart of a man I know who purchases mince especially to feed his gaggle of eight, who fly in from the surrounding trees to  grab a deftly-thrown portion from out of the air.  Their beaks make a most satisfying sound when they click them.

This one has been visiting for years.  Literally eats out of your hand.  Their shape is so round and satisfying, their call puts a smile on my face.

(See the eaten away parts of the decking to the left of the kookaburra?  Them's those naughty cockatoos).  
Pic mine


  1. These are just lovely, but this post amazes me. Cockatoos are sold for thousands of dollars here, as pets. It's so funny what is considered to be a rarity in one place is considered a pest in another. I love cockatoos and we used to talk about getting one as a pet, until we decided that was cruel.

  2. i agree sue, cockatoos are quite funny characters, but the cockatoos make us nervous when they fly overhead
    while we love them, we don't encourage them to stop off at our place :)
    kookaburras are great little guys
    and the parroty types are cheerful little sqauwkers
    what a lovely bird house this man you know has

  3. Erin - thousands of dollars? Wow. Remind me to take a net next time I go to Anthony's place ;) I think as pets it's not too cruel as long as they are uncaged most of the time. They do accommodate themselves well to family life, from what I've seen.

    Kel - it is a lovely bird house. So good for the soul :)

  4. Yep. A hand-fed Umbrella Cockatoo could go for $2500 in these parts.

  5. pssst - susie Q - wanna start a new business


  6. we used to have a cockatiel. The girls named him Major Bedhead and called him Major

  7. Sure, Kel :P Actually, I looked up umbrella cockatoos; they are natives of Indonesia and funny looking things :)

    Major Bedhead? How did the girls come up with that name, Kent? :)

  8. Wow! The birds and "pests" down under are so much more colorful and exotic than the sparrows and crows that inhabit my backyard. Wonder how God decided those territories? ;-)

  9. I'll trade any of your pesty birds for one of our seagulls or pigeons! Flaming gorgeous they are!

  10. I'm sorry Lucy and Barbara, I did not reply to your comments!!

    Lucy - well, I've just showed the more elaborate pests we have here :) We get more than our fair share of sparrows and crows as well :)

    Ooh, the sound of a crow. It's such an awful sound.

    Barbara - we got lots of seagulls and pigeons too :) But yeah, they are gorgeous, ain't they :)

  11. lovely. I love birds. So beautiful.

  12.  I love them too.  The kookaburra fraternity has grown to 12 that come visiting now.  One of the new babies is such a character, I'm going to have to write an update on them soon and introduce my little blogland to him (or her).

    Birds are wonderful, aren't they?  Sometimes I'm jealous of their ability to fly.


Newer Older