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If you go down to the woods today…

November 9, 2013

…you’re in for a big surprise. The woods in question are a stand of about two dozen Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) trees at the back of our property. I look at them with despair trying to pluck up the nerve to cut them down but they have in the past provided shelter for a pair of Powerful Owls and more recently a recreation area for a ‘squadron’ of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus). The surprise is being clobbered on the head by a falling pine cone.

DSCN4021A recent glancing blow to the shoulder from a cone travelling at terminal velocity taught me that I would not want to get hit on the head with one. Small numbers (2 or 3) of the cockatoos often frequent the grove, nipping off the tips of pine branches and dismembering the pine cones in search of the seeds. Normally you can pick your path to avoid the falling debris but with more than a dozen birds, the bush is alive with the thumping of cones falling to earth.

The male cockatoo pictured at left can be identified by the black beak and pink eye-ring. The female has a pale beak and grey eye-ring. Bicycle helmets are becoming ever more popular as the fashion item to wear – against magpie attacks and now pine-cone bombing.

P.S. There is no need to be caught out by their presence. Their distinctive calls can be heard for miles, as you can hear by clicking on the audio bar below.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Di Foletta permalink
    November 10, 2013 7:42 am

    Don’t cut the pines down ! Di

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