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.
Near 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.Love the yellow ‘spot’ clearly displayed on the tail when flying.Throughout 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.