The Cockatoo - A Destructive Australian Bird
Yes, it's true. If you ask most Australians about the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, they will tell you "Awh, that's nothin' but a bloody loud, destructive, mangy pest of a bird!" However the Cockatoo, though a bit cheeky and noisy, is an iconic Australian bird and had to make it into my 2021 Bird Calendar.
The ear-splitting screech of a flock of hundreds of Cockatoos is something you cannot un-hear! They will forage on the ground or in the trees in large flocks, eating berries, seeds, nuts, and roots. However it is their tendency to tear chunks out of tree limbs, decking boards, timber railings and other objects that annoys most people, and has earned them the title of "pest."
The 2021 Bird Calendar Cockatoo Image
As a Nature lover who enjoys and appreciates all of Nature's creations, I think Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos are beautiful. I welcome any opportunity to photograph them in their natural environment.
The February image in the Barry Callister Photography 2021 Bird Calendar was taken in the grounds of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales. I think I spent most of our time there photographing wild birds more than the resident animals!
While walking down the pathway to the Hippopotamus enclosure as I remember, I noticed this Cockatoo feeding in a Gum Tree. Now, you can't really get any more Australian than a Cockatoo in a Gum Tree. Unless you perhaps add a Kangaroo, a Koala, and a large-bellied man in a singlet and thongs with an Eski full of beer and a barbecued snag!
I took quite a few shots of this bird, but it was this one that I chose for the 2021 wall calendar:
Some Facts About Cockatoos
The name Cockatoo; often thought to be an aboriginal word, actually has it's roots in Malay. It means 'vice' or 'grip' and refers to their incredibly strong beak.
Like humans, Cockatoos have preferred handedness (or "footedness" in their case). Most of them, as with the one in this photo, are left-footed.
The tendency of Cockatoos to tear strips off trees and other things is thought to help trim their beaks and prevent them from growing too large.
Purchase The Barry Callister Photography 2021 Bird Calendar
My 2021 Bird Calendar is available in both physical and digital forms from the Shop page of my Website. Both versions come with a FREE GIFT, so grab one today by clicking on the image below.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read some of my other blog posts about Australian Birds.