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Australian Parrots - white cockatoos are good pets

Updated on January 22, 2013

Suphur Crested Cockatoo

In Queensland homes cockatoos are as common as cats. Many homes host a Cockatoo called Cocky.
In Queensland homes cockatoos are as common as cats. Many homes host a Cockatoo called Cocky. | Source

In Australia we love parrots and cockatoos

The sun-blasted land: On the verandah of the home in the dust-blasted red lands with strange purple plants, a white sulphur crested cockatoo sits chained to its perch. It's usually pleased to see you, and will dance on its perch (like Rolf Harris with a thunder board), when you arrive.
We love Australian Parrots: We love the way they look. The way the flocks fly in the sky. The sound of 50 rusty door-hinges, high in the eucalyptus tree. The flash of color.

Typical Queensland Parrot bloke

An out-doorsy para-military type with a flak jacket and  lots of parrots in the back yard.
An out-doorsy para-military type with a flak jacket and lots of parrots in the back yard.

Typical Queensland parrot nut

Australia, military photo journalist John Hunter Farrell, editor of Australian & NZ Defender presented a species profile on Plum Headed Parrots to the September meeting of the Parrot club. He has 100 of them in his Brisbane backyard

Lessor Spotted Cockatoo

This one is rare and protected. Yellow under the wings and tail. Crest more orange than yellow.
This one is rare and protected. Yellow under the wings and tail. Crest more orange than yellow. | Source

Cockatoo as verandah furniture: In Queensland homes cockatoos are as common as cats. Many homes host a Cockatoo called Cocky. Many old folks keep cockatoos, and sometimes the cocky is as old as its owner. Even farmers in Australia we call "Cockies".
Captured too often for the pet trade:
Forests cut down, too. Only 2500 left in the wild. Found in Timor and Indonesian national parks.

Blue-eyed Cockatoo

Very rare. A PNG parrot from forests of New Britain in the Bismark Archipelago.
Very rare. A PNG parrot from forests of New Britain in the Bismark Archipelago.

Vernacular: "Yoose goin tuh thuh parrot fair?

And now Queensland parrot-lovers congregate in flocks on Facebook. They even have a parrot fair, with cost of $5 to get in.
This is Queensland, remember. Things work different there. They even talk like that.
Things are different. Real different.
"Yoose goin tuh thuh parrot fair?
"Crikey, yeahh, Mate, whatchuh reckon? Met yuh there for a cold one".
(This means a beer, not a parrot).
This big parrot has zygodactyl feet. Makes it look kind of human. It can scratch its head while standing on one foot.

White Cockatoo

They eat polystyrene architectural moldings. They eat food in the field. They congregate in huge white flocks in trees near water and make the most awful racket.
They eat polystyrene architectural moldings. They eat food in the field. They congregate in huge white flocks in trees near water and make the most awful racket.

In some Australia States cockatoos so annoying its OK to shoot them

But in the US they sell for $2,000.00 each. Quite a few folks try to smuggle them to the USA in their underpants. This is why in Australia we call tight swimming pants, "budgie-smugglers".
They chew everything: Flocks of wild White Cockatoos chews window frames, electric wires and insulation. That's the view in Victoria, where you can go outside and blast away in a 355.4 days - a - year parrot-killing season.
Valuable elsewhere:
Bird markets in Indonesia sell cockatoos. But its not legal to export parrots. Lots of folks still try it.
"A cow-cocky". That's what we say of a bloke or a sheila who runs a few thousand beef cattle over sixty square kilometers of red-hot no-where, beyond the black stump.
All parrots protected in NSW: Those cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas, ringnecks and budgerigars, just have to fly over the border. Australia has fifty-six species, 51 unique.

Major Michell Cockatoo

You may need help if your pet parrot takes over the household. This can happen
You may need help if your pet parrot takes over the household. This can happen | Source

Western Corella

Source

The conversation of the Cockatoo

This one is protected. Major Mitchell's cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri) is protected by the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.
It can talk, of course:
The conversation of the Cockatoo tells you something of the family culture at the station. You may need help if your pet parrot takes over the household. In that case - after the feather-picking, screaming, and biting, Queenslanders call in a parrot whisperer, more formally called a parrot clinical behaviour and enrichment consultation.

Long pointed bill for digging

Western Corellas look for food on the ground. The long pointed bill digs for bulbs and roots and insects. A noisy bird. As a pet, very, very noisy bird. Drive you batty. Aggressive to other birds. Not cooperative. But some - those who try to sell them online - say it has a "goofy, playful personality".
A bird of the forests, but there are few forests left: Originally forested and woodland areas. Like to eat grain and cereal crop in fields in Western Australia. Now protected in NSW. In WA a flocking habit,in groups of around 2000, with the most horrible collective screeching; always coming home to Dalwallinu and returning to breeding districts between January and March. Population increasing.

Duncorps Corella

Source

Full moon screeching

A version of the white cockatoo. (genus Cacatua). Another small screechy bird. Common in the Solomons Island. Nests in trees. Likes lowland rain forests. Also called Solomons Cockatoo. It is widespread in some parts. Also protected. If housed outdoors these cockatoos call at night in the full moon. Active as pets and chew almost everything.

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