Crimson Rosella

Crimson rosella and my sunflowers

rosella climbing the sunflower
Tuesday evening we looked out our window to see 2 of the larger sunflowers lying on the ground. We blamed the wind (there had been none). But did wonder if a bird had been the culprit.

On Wednesday (yesterday) morning we staked and roped in the remaining sunflowers (one of the 2 broken ones was beyond repair, it now “lives” in a vase in our living room).

Today I witnessed a new garden visitor. A crimson rosella was tempted to extremes. He couldn’t fly and land right on the flower heads so he tried landing in that purpley-leafy bush next to it (cordyline fruticosa, I believe). The flower was too far away. Not to worry. He hopped on the ground and climbed the stalk.

Nibbled sunflower

I had 2 options, run down and chase him away or photograph the whole thing from the safety of my home. Which I did but I thought I should try to get closer (worst case he flew away and left my flowers alone). I ended up within 3 metres before he decided to move on. Not before munching a good-sized corner off one of the flower heads though.

On closer inspection, 5 heads have been nibbled and 2 of the stalks are broken (obviously our staking for the wind was no match for the weight of a parrot). I suspect that eating has been going on throughout the day while I was blissfully ignorant of the raids.

Now what? Recommendations include wrapping muslin over the flowers or putting each head in a paper bag to keep the birds away.

After all that work attracting birds to the garden, I’m loath to deny them such tasty pickings. Honestly, will I eat all those seeds anyway?????

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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3 Responses to Crimson Rosella

  1. karen says:

    Beautiful photos. You should really start selling some of them as post cards or greeting cards, etc.

    And, I suspect you’ll very soon be buying sunflower seeds at the mart along with the rest of us. Oh, happy birds!

  2. Yep, I’ll be buying sunflower seeds – maybe at the pet shop. They’re sold here as parrot food and rumour has it they may cheap seeds for planting (and eating). The parrots will eat the ones I grow and I’ll snack on the ones sold for parrots while planting them as long as the season lasts – want to keep those birds happy.

  3. Pingback: Possum & Parrot Nest Boxes | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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