Corella and Cypress

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

One of the houses in the neighbourhood has a pair of cypresses that bears fruit almost every year. If there is a bumper crop like the one that happened in 2011 (alas, no pix) the trees will, at some point in the nut-ripening cycle, attract an entire flock of Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) which will then hang from the branches and leaves like strange, large, off-white/pinkish fruit. Said spectacle is frequently accompanied by noise and mess.

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

In more moderate years like this one you may get three or four of these birds, quietly stripping bunches of green nuts off the trees, eating the good bits and discarding the rest, littering the ground with green and brown stuff.

A Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) reaches for a nut

A Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) reaches for a nut

A friend of mine tells me the numbers of corellas seen in Sydney are heavily influenced by weather conditions farther inland — if there’s a drought they’ll fly coastwards in the never-ending search for food.

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

And I wonder: when the drought ends, do they go back home or stay around to breed? I’ve seen more and more Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) and Little Corellas in the neighbourhood over the last ten years.

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

The two birds feeding here today are fearless, allowing me to approach to within two metres.

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

A seed or shell fragment falls from a Little Corella's beak

A seed or shell fragment falls from a Little Corella’s beak

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Extracting tasty fruit bits from the shell

Extracting tasty fruit bits from the shell

Extracting tasty fruit bits from the shell

 Acrobatics are sometimes called for

Acrobatics are sometimes called for

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Only two today

Only two today

First, harvest your fruit.

First, harvest your fruit.

Find a suitable position

Find a suitable position

Then hold it in a claw and enjoy!

Then hold it in a claw and enjoy!

Aww yeah

Aww yeah

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

Date: 06 January 2014
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens 1: Pentax smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM
Ambient light only.
Conditions: Very bright. Early evening.
Hand-held only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.

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