This morning I woke to the sound of a young Kaarak (Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo) calling outside my window. I was half asleep, but the closeness of the characteristic soft wheezing drew me further out of my slumber and urged me to go and investigate. Camera in hand, I ventured outside and saw a juvenile cockatoo perched quite low in a Marri tree just near the house, its parents foraging on 'honkey nuts' just above its head. Normally family groups of this species which visit my bush garden are quite wary and not particularly tolerant of a photographer stalking them! On this occasion, however, this family trio didn't' seem worried, and from my verandah I managed to sneak closer and snap away just as the female descended to her beautiful baby and gave her some breakfast.
|An adult female Kaarak feeds her offspring some 'Marri muesli' for breakfast.|
Despite a few mouthfuls of 'marri muesli', the young Kaarak still wasn't happy, and she kept wheezing and climbed higher towards her father. Young cockatoos spend several years with their parents, learning the art of foraging, and also gaining practice at navigating their way around the canopy. Even if they aren't giving the unmistakable contact call of a juvenile, observing their climbing method can be a dead giveaway to their age. This young one took a little negotiating to make her way around a clump of new foliage growing out of the Marri limb on which she was clambering - a funny sight! Eventually she reached 'dad' and was given a second helping.
Knowing the cockatoos were outside enjoying the natural habitat this bush block provides was a wonderful feeling, and a brilliant way to start the day. Now time for my breakfast!
|The female Kaarak (left) with her offspring, who is busy nibbling her perch!|