But this time, the cockatoo stood up to the lorikeets and things quickly became very nasty.

Not Really Friends

Lyn Forbes

Noticing a pair of King-Parrots resting under my pergola, I put out a seed bell for them. I soon realised that a regular pair of visiting Rainbow Lorikeets (Squawky and his Missus) had also discovered the feast. Not good for them! Then a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo also discovered the seed bell. I suspect the lorikeets and cockatoo chased the King-Parrots away. I decided to put the seed bell out after the lorikeets had left my garden for the cockatoo. The seed bell soon got eaten, but all I could get was loose seed. I left the packet on the table, ready for filling the feeder the next time the cockatoo visited.

BUT the next morning, I got woken early by the shrieks from the cockatoo. I found him tearing a hole in the packet of seeds. Soon it was big enough to start his feast, looking very pleased with himself! Just dozing off when a new ruckus began, far louder than before! It was Squawky and his Missus, protesting that the cockatoo was eating their seeds. I took photos of the duo standing over the cockatoo....well at least trying to! Eventually the poor cockatoo gave in and let the squawking pair feast on the seeds. What a mess I had to clean up! The left-over seed was put into a plastic container. So I thought that was the end of that! However, the cockatoo was too clever. I would hide the seed but he kept finding it. Then the lorikeets would want their share. So there were many confrontations between the three birds, with the cockatoo always giving in to the noisy lorikeets.

Some months later I had to stop providing seeds for the birds. One day, when the cockatoo was at the feeder, the lorikeets came in to the feeder too. But this time, the cockatoo stood up to the lorikeets and things quickly became very nasty. The lorikeets soon flew away and once the cockatoo had finished, I took the feeder down. What had once been a lovely social interaction between birds had become a violent attack involving all three. Not a nice thing to happen.

Lyn is a retired primary school teacher. When I retired, I took up photography more seriously and one of my early photos was of a White Plumed Honeyeater in a pink camellia. Regular trips with the camera to the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan (close to home) has seen this interest in birds grow.

Rosemeadow, NSW