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Pigs might fly but sheep don’t

September 1, 2013

At the moment the Valley of a Thousand Hills looks wonderful. On the vivid green slopes, snowy-white sheep graze. Maybe those sheep are a little too white. As I move closer to get a better look, they take to the air. Well, pigs may fly but sheep certainly don’t.

Birds of a feather...

Birds of a feather…

At this time of the year flocks of cockatoos graze in the paddocks. Up on Junction Hill these flocks are comprised exclusively of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) but in the lower, more open parts of the King Parrot Valley, Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) and Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) are also in the mix (pictured left).

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DSCN2848They are digging up Onion Grass or Guilford Grass (Romulea rosea var. australis), a herbaceous perennial weed originally from South Africa. In late winter the plant develops small bulbs called puddings (pictured right) that are sweet to eat and for these birds this is the food of choice before the acacia seeds ripen later in the year. The flowers, which come out in spring, are pink (pictured below).onion weed DSCN3382

It’s a surprise that these cockies can do such a fine community (weeding) service. I wonder if we could teach them to eat Cape Weed as well?

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