Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

on the seat near the pond

on the seat near the pond

These huge gracious cockatoos are often seen around Dadirri, flying over with lazy wing strokes, calling raucously to each other. Traditionally their appearance is taken as a sign of rain, but that is not always so. Aboriginal women in some areas cover their breasts, believing the slow down-strokes of the cocktoos’ wings will cause their breasts to droop. Regardless of what their presence signifies, I have been trying to photograph them for ages, but they are usually high in a tree, with the glare of the sky making exposure very difficult for an amateur like me. This morning at 7am I heard them coming down to the lily pond to drink. Once again the low morning sun was behind them, but without leaving the cover of the house I was able to capture a few decent images.

in nearby tree, keeping watch

in nearby tree, keeping watch

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos are very cautious, one bird always stays on watch high in a tree while the others slowly make their way lower towards the drinking water. The watch is relieved when another bird has quenched his thirst. These birds are very beautiful, so we all stop what we are doing and follow their movements when they are near. I was just on my way out the door for the Saturday markets, but I let my husband go alone so I could stay with the birds, that is how special they are!

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

  1. You know, I’ve never seen one in the wild! They didn’t come out to the western plains where I grew up and of course knew better than to visit Sydney – so I was thrilled when i saw you’d made a capture. Fantastic! And with the yellow ear muffs too! What a lovely morning you must have had, lurking behind the kitchen curtains …
    I’ve so much catching up to do reading your blog, and responding to your wonderful – truly wonderful – comments Christine. With Kumari still on the walking wounded list I’m falling behind with everything, but some day … 🙂

      • Wouldn’t that be lovely! It’s a part of the country I don’t know at all, so that would be a great incentive – on top of saying ‘hello’ to you 🙂

        The Move? I’ve pushed it back till the end of April – early May.

  2. They are very beautiful. Why are they so cautious, is there a particular predator? I’m intrigued by the sound they must make, it must be distinct if you heard them come to the pond, or perhaps there are many of them. Fascinating to hear of the breast hiding women too 🙂

    • gilly I really dont know what eats them, other than raptors … they so rarely come to ground it could not be fear of dingos …. they are such striking birds that there are no doubt other stories about the meaning of their appearance!

  3. beautiful, exotic birds. I wish there are birds like that flying around Texas but unfortunately none. I did see a red cardinal one time and it was beautiful too. Birds at flight, always a joy to see. Happy New Year!

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