In Flight

Long-Billed Corella Flocks

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a single Long-Billed Corella which is often seen with a small flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos.  I wrote that the flock of Corella we see fly over us twice each day NEVER stops here.   Almost as soon as I published that post we have been visited by a sizable flock of Long-Billed Corella each day.  They don’t stay here for a long time, but seem to land sometime between 8 am and 9 am for a couple of hours of rollicking activity.  Then they’re off for the rest of the day.  Our solitary Long-Billed Corella stays with the Cockatoos instead of following the flock.

This has been my first real chance to observe the behaviour of the Corella en-mass.  They’re much more aggressive than the Cockatoos, Galahs and Rosella we have here, often squabbling among themselves, and pushing other birds away from any food they have their eye on.  They also seem to be hyperactive – always looking to do something.  This can mean clowning around and funny antics, but it can also mean sheer destructive behaviour.  They strip bark off the trees, bite through twigs (sending leaves hurtling down) and have chewed through the timber parts of the bird feeders.   Given this, I avoid putting bird seed out when the Corella are here.

While the flocks of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos take to the trees if I step outside, they don’t see me as an intruder.  There are no warning calls from them.  However, the Long-Billed Corella resort to alarm calls the minute they catch sight of me, taking off for the tops of the trees, or the other side of the dam.

It has been fascinating to watch the Corella, but I must admit I am ready for them to resume their former habit of flying over our property twice a day on their way SOMEWHERE ELSE.

I’ve outlined some of the behaviour I observed in the captions beneath each of these photographs, so click on the first image and scroll through them full screen to read more.


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