Saturday, August 29, 2015

Birding Overseas: Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in Sydney, Australia

 It's the Birdman of Sydney!

We continue checking out the photo archives of my bird adventures from earlier times. In 2004, we were on a geology field studies course in Australia and New Zealand. After visiting the Australian Museum of Natural History and Anthropology, we took a stroll through the Botanical Gardens nearby. There were lots of big white birds in the trees. I had to get a closer look.

The mysterious birds weren't all that mysterious. They were Cockatoos. Of course at the time I didn't know anything more than that, they were just big white birds that seemed unusually tame. And they really looked interested in my granola bar.

With a bit of searching, I found that the birds were Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), and that they are most common species of Cockatoo found in Australia (there are 11 endemic species found there, as well as three introduced species). They normally inhabit rainforest, forest and woodland environments, but have done well in park and garden settings as well.

I had a seat in the grass, shared a few bits of my food, and soon had a number of fans. They were generally polite, but nipped my ear once or twice if I wasn't quick enough with my offerings.

My wife and daughter weren't as interested in the proceedings, and instead were quite sure that I was daft. They consented to take a shot of me with my new friends but the opening picture in the post was a selfie.

I've never "owned" any birds, so this was pretty much the closest experience I've ever had with the avian clan. I rather enjoyed it.

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