Yesterday I spotted a sulphur crested cockatoo swooping in my backyard (not unusual). It looked like it must have landed on the side fence (unusual). I went and took a look and found it in the banana plant (unusual) near the sunflowers (aha! not unusual at all).
The sunflowers are beginning to bloom. A couple of days ago I noticed that the petals on the biggest flower were missing. I suspected birds and in fact laid the blame at the feet of the Crimson Rosellas which I saw in my back garden the day before yesterday. Not that it couldn’t have been that pair, but yesterday I caught a cockie red-handed (ahem, sorry, taloned).
Check out the cheeky bugger – he’s picked a flower-head (note the stem behind him) and is sitting there taking his time eating his way through the heart.
My chickens were not impressed. They kept their distance for a while, then moved in as the cockatoo dropped bits. When the cockie dropped the whole sunflower (or the half left after he was finished) right on top of my girls, they withdrew to reassess the situation.
After picking a 2nd sunflower, nibbling one corner of it and then dropping it, the cockatoo flew away to the neighbour’s roof and squawked at me. I think he was complaining that the seeds weren’t ripe enough. And by the look of the cockie’s leavings, they never will be.
Sunflower season really brings the parrots into my garden. The flowers don’t last long in their talons but what a way to go. I know gardeners (and home owners) who bemoan the destruction by parrots – especially cockatoos – but I say bring it on. They are magnificent creatures.