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...
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!