Looking Back: In October

Just one of the flock: A confused Corella

We’ve noticed a single Corella flying and eating with a flock of Cockatoos.  Not once, but over an extended time period.  Does it think it is a Cockatoo or has it decided that they have a better lifestyle than the flock of Corellas that flies over the property twice a day?  It doesn’t even seem to look skyward when the other Corellas are flying overhead, noisily calling to each other all the way.

The flock of Cockatoos seem to accept the Corella, although there is the odd squabble over whether it is entitled to the prime eating spots.  As a consequence, we’ve noticed the Corella can be a little bit aggressive – or maybe I should write assertive?  Whatever the case, it can certainly hold its ground.

Last week we had a sizable flock of Cockatoos roosting here overnight, including our sole Corella.  We don’t have this many Cockatoos every day.  There are three that live near the house, and handful that live in the bushy part of the property.  It seems there is a larger flock that are free-floating, and roam around the district.  From time to time they roost here, and the next morning we are awakened by the most raucous noise at dawn.  I sometimes get out of bed to observe what the fuss is about, and they just seem to be having fun demonstrating their impressive flying skills.  They circle around the dam, fly through narrow gaps in the tree branches, and seem to have games of ‘chicken’ where they fly at each other and veer off at the last moment.  All of this time they screech at the top of their voices.  After twenty minutes or so, they settle into the trees or find a place to eat.  This is where my photos come into play.  On this particular day, the Cockatoos  were digging into the ground – presumably looking for larvae of some description.  Right alongside them was the sole Corella.  Just one of the flock.

Half the Flock
The flock was quite spread out, so this is about half of them. The Corella is the fifth bird from the left in the bunch.
Digging Cockatoos
The cockatoos certainly seem to be looking for something buried. Many moth larvae emerge from the ground, so perhaps that is what they were feasting on, but I can’t be sure.
Corella with Cockatoos
The Corella with some of the Cockatoos.
One of the flock
Digging for food – the Corella feeds alongside the Cockatoos
Rambling about
I like this photo because it captures the variety of activity the Cockatoos employ when they eat. In the foreground, a cockatoo digs deep into the ground. The one on the right is busy picking up bark and searching for seeds or insects, while the one in the background is just rambling about, checking out what everyone else is up to – just in case they found something better.
Surveying the scene
Our Corella sits on a stump to survey the scene.
Looking Back: In October
This photo was taken in October 2013. I can’t say for sure that this is the same Corella, but I would be surprised if it wasn’t. Again, it was a sole Corella flying and eating with the Cockatoos. The grass was much greener back then!

9 thoughts on “Just one of the flock: A confused Corella

    1. Thanks! It’s funny. We never seem to have flocks of Corella land here. They usually just fly overhead en-route from one place to another. However, less than an hour after I posted this, we had a small flock of Corella land and dig in the ground in the same way the Cockatoo were! It was as though they just wanted to contradict my post – but of course they can’t read. Ironic timing! 🙂 Lisa

    1. Yes – they are rather loud! Most of the time I don’t mind this, but there are some occasions when it would be nice to be “Cockatoo whisperer” and quieten them down. I love it when they do the ‘Whoo Hoo!” call (which always sounds joyous, but can do without the full on screeches when I am trying to sleep or listen to the radio. 🙂 Lisa

  1. Love the photos. I’ve seen Sulphur Cresteds getting stuck into a patch of grass but they were digging up roots or runners and were filthy. I’ve never seen a Corella in amongst them.

    1. You may be right about the grass roots, but they seemed to be digging into the patches of dirt rather than into the grassy areas. It’s hard to say what they were eating as they didn’t seem to have anything in their beaks when they looked up. The ground here is so dry at the moment, they may be a little dusty, but not dirty per-se.

      The solitary Corella was with the flock of Cockatoos again today. This time it was bossing them around. 🙂 Lisa

    1. I don’t know what ever happened to that particular Corella, but we don’t get many. Our current two had a chick last year, but it died after it fledged, which was sad. The female we call ‘Brokenwing’ as she has obviously had an injury to her wing. She can fly just fine, but has trouble folding it in when she has landed, so always looks like she has an ‘elbow’ stuck out. I’ll put up a post about her soon.

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