Urban Corellas: A Cockatoo species behaving badly

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Roof Rack Forum Member • Posts: 72
Urban Corellas: A Cockatoo species behaving badly
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In the early morning Outback light, this is a 'Little Corella' (Cacatua sanguinea) standing on a hollowed and broken tree branch, threatening me with display and screeching for having dared to camp under its favourite roosting tree.

The rage was explained by the arrival of a second bird. Apparently, the lower displaying bird (assumed male) had persuaded newly arrived female (upper bird) to come and inspect the potential nesting site of the hollowed broken branch. Obviously, my presence lowered the value of the nest site reveal.

Corellas are entertaining birds to encounter. All three Australian species of Corella are very social birds, flocking in their hundreds, as here. They are also known for their 'play' - apparently frivolous and teasing behaviour - as here, where there is competition to hold top position of the termite mound.

By contrast, here is a pair of urban Little Corellas, members of about four populations resident in Canberra. Their origin is most likely aviary escapees. They differ little from their wild relatives: though slightly smaller, their colouring and calling is the same. And so are their play behaviours, one of which is not much appreciated.

They have learned to prise open the clamshell streetlights. They then strip out the neoprene weather seal as a trophy and fly around with it - that I've seen but not captured - then pairs play out potential nest inspection behaviour, as here.

And here. These images were shot in August - winter is hunger time for these seed-eating birds - so they dig for grass roots, hence their dirt-stained faces.

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