Day 74 Saturday 11th June 2011

Wild Cockatoo

This was taken in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. The cockatoos here seem to congregate. I’ve had a couple of run-ins with them…

A couple of years ago, I was wearing a cream winter coat and some black trousers and I went to photograph the cockatoos. I knelt to get to their level. Next thing I know, I had 1 on my head, 1 on each shoulder, 1 on my lap biting the buttons on my coat and one on my foot. The one on my head started squawking and pecking me. Then one started to try to nibble at my thumb. People started to surround me and were taking photographs of me, whilst they laughed. I actually had to ask someone to help, as the cockatoos weren’t going anywhere fast. No-one came to my rescue. I had to force them off me. Someone (that I didn’t know) told me that as I was wearing cream/white they probably thought that I was their leader – Queen of the cockatoos!!

The following year, I was with my cousin and his partner, we were walking around the same area and again the same thing happened, there were other people there, but for some reason the cockatoos chose me. I guess I should feel special as I am the chosen one.

This time round, I actually felt rather apprehensive. One or two cockatoos I can cope with, It’s when there are several, that’s when my hearts starts racing. This time however, the only thing I had to contend with was as I was taking a photograph of a cockatoo in a tree, one was on the grass, picking at it and eating it. He’d then walk a bit and then pick some more grass and eat in, but I was in his path (I was unaware of all this) and his way of letting me know that I was in his way, was to nibble at my toe as though to say “oi, you’re in my way…shift it!” šŸ™‚ He made me jump. I turned around to see my partner in fits of giggles as he’d watched the whole thing and thought it would be rather amusing to watch, instead of warning me that a cockatoo was fast approaching šŸ˜‰

I have to say though, that it is so nice to see these birding flying around freely, not caged or in a zoo. Wild as can be.

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4 comments on “Day 74 Saturday 11th June 2011”

  1. nice picture, and what experiences! i fortunately haven’t had any run-ins w/ cockatoos, but i am always amazed by how crazy they really are. so wayward in their movements, i can never predict which course they are about to take. you should check out a poem on cockatoos in the june 2011 issue of meanjin, titled ‘band of cockatoos” – i think it will strike a chord with you. (though i confess, i know the author!) xx

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    • Thank you! I have found a bookshop in Mosman that stock the magazie meanjin, so next time I’m in/passing Mosman I’ll buy a copy of the June edition so that I can read the poem. Thanks for recommending it. I’ll let you know when I get it xx

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  2. It must have been amazing to see them in the wild. That is where they belong!

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    • I love seeing them in the wild. I often see them about, opposite where I live, in the tree, they actually break part of the branches off and drop them on to un-suspecting people walking about. It’s rather funny. They do amuse me. I saw a couple of cockatoos last year here, that were in a cage, it broke my heart….when you see them flying around so freely here, to see them locked up, it just felt so wrong. I really wanted to liberate them and set them free. I wish I had.

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