Friday, November 20, 2009


A Story of Love, Compassion, Friendship & Loyalty

About eight years ago a wild Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew into a car
and broke its wing. The motorist took it to the Vet in Nerang , Queensland ,
who had to amputate the wing.
We adopted her - for which we needed a National Parks and Wildlife permit -
and kept her in a cage outside where she was often visited by wild Cockatoos.
One of the things that impressed us was how she would push lettuce leaves
through the bars of the cage, offering food to visitors.
Last Sunday 23 July 2006, she again had a visitor.

As usual he spent a lot of time sitting on the cage with a tamper proof latch

There was a lot of talking and grooming.

A bloke has to look presentable when courting a bird!

Things got interesting when he approached the front door. . . ..

The clever fellow figured out how to undo the tamper proof latch!

He opened the door for a lot of mutual grooming and food sharing...

Oooh that's nice! Scratch a bit more on that side, dear...

He was not shy to get into the cage and would go in and out a number of times

They mated! We are looking forward to beautiful baby cockatoos

Later on, the whole extended family came visiting
but the special mate was back every day so far

We leave the door open during the day but if we forget, it doesn't matter -
cockatoos have intelligence that rival primates.
Because she has only one wing, she stays inside or just sits on top

Guess what happened next...

The Babies

At first it seemed as though he was annoyed because she did not fly off with
him and he would squawk a lot. He soon came to understand that she could
not fly so he just stayed. However, she was no longer returning to her cage.
The two of them would stay in the trees in our garden and because the yard
is well fenced, they were safe from dogs but the neighbor’s cat is not kept
indoors at night and we often have to chase it away. Chances are the cat
would come off second best in a confrontation with a Cockatoo but at night
cats remain a danger because they could stalk a sleeping bird on the ground

Cockatoos make their nests in hollow logs but we noticed the male hard at work

digging a hole under a clump of Lilly Pilly trees. We put down a hollow log for them
but they just ignored us. The nest he dug was a hole with a short tunnel leading off
to where she laid her eggs. Once there were eggs in the nest, the male became
extremely aggressive. You better not get near the nest or he will take chunks
of flesh from your foot. It was difficult to take these pictures because I literally
had to steal them while running away from the male

We kept a vigil to see how things were progressing.

They took turns incubating the eggs and covering the tunnel.
After about three weeks, the eggs hatched.
Have a careful look at this picture and try to spot the bit of yellow fluff

Whenever Mum & Dad Cockatoo leave the nest, we try to get a look

but you have to do it while running because Dad Cockatoo is chasing you!

Second lap running around the Lilly Pilly trees!

Well l, I hope his mother thinks he is pretty and eventually I might think so too

but at the moment, both of them just look like pink balls with a bit of yellow fluff

How's that for a true Aussie Love Story????

Definitely has the aaawwwww factor!


  1. It sure is a lovely story, however I think that the cage for the cockatoo is very small indeed.

    Hope the fledglings are doing well.

    Hasja Palmer

  2. Second attempt!!!!! I was forwarded a letter without pictures of this wonderful love story and had to do a Google Search. When I ended up with you, I saved the page and bookmarked it so I could find you again while forwarding your post to others as well. I think it's wonderful that those two birds could find love while overlooking the handicap! If only people could be the same!! I thank you for sharing this wonderful story with everyone! I will be forwarding the email with your page here to others as well!

    Thanks and have a great new year!

    Steven Laredo Garrett

  3. What a wonderful story in pictures! You truly understand the saying,"If you love something, set it free." Kudos to you . Please post an update.
    Nanette Schieron
    Marshfield Hills, MA

  4. I was agast at the size of her jail & then to see what followed was truely heart warming. Please don't jail her babies. These intellegent birds mate for life & live longer than humans. Your story lifted my spirits & I shall be keeping this story to show my children. Thank you for sharing & for your kindness to these wonderful creatures.

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  6. Ooooh my God. I just got this in an emailed message from a friend who knows how I love exotic birds, and I Googled the subject line to find your blog.

    Heck! I used to have moluccan cockatoos and an umbrella cockatoo... gosh I miss them.

    Eeeek, how could you call the babies ugly? I hear soooo many people say that baby birds are ugly.

    They are soooo precious... but then, I was introduced to these beautiful creatures long before I ever heard any human label them as being ugly.

    I used to love to watch our cliff dwelling sparrow's babies grow up from mere eggs to adults when I was only a kid... maybe 8 or 9 years of age. I was always careful to NEVER touch the babies... though the parents would dive-bomb me each time I reached into the holes in the cliff side of an old, long-deserted gravel pit, to pull out the nest so I could inspect the growth of their babies.

    Aaaaaah, you've lived a dream for me with your story here. Cockatoos are sooooo intelligent... I just love 'em. Feel free to visit me at

  7. What a lovely and heartwarming story. I got an email without the images so I googled the title and found you. I am entranced by your birds, it is wonderful that you shared this story with us. Thank you.

  8. Thank you for sharing the heart warming story with us. I am entranced by the images. Kudos to you for taking care of a disabled bird.

  9. Please post updates and more photos, especially of the babies. Thank you for this precious story. About the cage size, I am quite sure you consulted with experts and arrived at the decision for a cage for her from good advice to keep her safe and able to get around in her home. I hope the neighbor's cat is scarce!



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