Maybe kookaburra or two
I’ve got a new mate. His name is Mate, as in G’day Mate, and I’m making use of my home holiday to tame him, or at least get him to eat out of my hand and maybe sit on my shoulder and poo down my back.
He’s a sulphur-crested cockatoo, a bit of a pest around here, actually, and if you’re wondering how I know his gender, it’s not that my eyesight is super keen, but that Wikipedia tells me the males have black eyes, and the ladies red or brown.
This guy definitely has black eyes, and they switch between me and his tucker. He eats parrot mix, but he prefers the sunflower seeds, which he picks out and crunches up, extracting the insides and discarding the husk, before moving on to the next one.
And, hehehehe, closer to me.
It’s a bit of a thrill to have such a large bird so close, almost eating out of my hand. I’ve known this one for a while, and I don’t know who’s training who.
I have a bird feeder outside my window, and I’ll fill it with birdseed or water, depending on the season. I get a selection of wild birds, but I also get introduced pests such as pigeons or Indian mynahs.
Yes, I know, they are all God’s creatures, and should be cherished, but the pigeons are churlish and unlovely, compared to the glorious colours of the rosellas and king parrots.
“My” bird would land on the bird feeder, and if it was empty, look towards the window, and give out a screech. If you have ever heard a flock of cockatoos conversing together, it is a noisy business. I would look up, we’d make eye contact, and either I would rush outside to fill the feeder, or he would get more and more interested in me until I did, like moving closer until he was perched on the window sill and yelling into my ear.
Now, if he cannot spot me in my home office, he sits in the elm tree outside and waits until he can see me in one of the windows facing that way. Often the kitchen, where I wander in to make a cup of coffee.
Then he sits on the back porch and waits until I forget about coffee and sprinkle a trail of seeds for him to follow.
He’s a little flighty still, and the appearance of Princess Fluffypants at the cat flap will spook him. God knows why: he’s bigger than she is, and has the beak and talons of an eagle.
I’ve gotten to the stage where he will tolerate me sitting on the porch with an iPad, taking his photo from close range.
Stay tuned for more about my cockatoo.
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