RTBG 15 August 2019 2 of 2

I had left the grounds of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) and walked towards my bus stop at the end of another terrific day.

As I neared massive pine trees growing on the lower slopes of the Government House lawns, I could hear the distinctive squawking of black cockatoos – you know, those with yellow in their tails. Refer to this site for detailed information.

Within moments a couple flew overhead and then I stopped. Mesmerised. A large family of very large birds were intent on finding the smaller pine cones and picking them off the trees. Then they either rested on a branch or stood on the ground and worked their way through the cone, eating the seeds by holding the cone up to their beak using one claw.  IMG_7133.JPG

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IMG_7152.JPGNear the bottom of the following photo you can see a pale coloured young pine cone which these cockatoos were seeking. Possibly they are a delicacy. Possibly it is simply easier to extract the seeds than in an older cone. Perhaps the seeds are softer and more nutritious in cones this size.IMG_7154.JPGLove the yellow ‘spot’ clearly displayed on the tail when flying.IMG_7141.JPGThroughout this experience, I couldn’t help but to think of humans holding their icecream cones.

Mostly I stood watching from no more than 2 metres away from these great native birds. What good fortune! What a super way to end the day.

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