How well do you know some of our iconic and most common Australian birds? I talk with ecologist Sue Stephens about the destructive, snowy-white sulphur-crested cockatoo; the vividly-coloured crimson rosella; and the black and white pied currawong, and why it’s often an unwelcome visitor in your garden.
Sulphur-crested cockatoo is a large parrot, commonly 50cm (20 inches) long with snowy-white plumage and a yellow crest. It’s a favourite with tourists but not so well-loved by locals because of its playful but destructive habits, damaging plants and even buildings.
They are highly intelligent and very long-lived birds, often living to 80 or even 90 years old in captivity and they can learn to talk – and swear!
Learn more about their interesting habits and preferences, and why you should never feed them.
Rosellas are some of Australia’s most beautiful coloured parrots, with many different coloured varieties around southern and eastern Australia The crimson rosella has rich red feathers over most of its body, black striping over its shoulders, a blue tail and wings and an unusual cream-coloured beak.
Unlike its bold cousin the rainbow lorikeet, crimson rosella is seed eater and a generally shy bird that keeps to tall trees, unless people have been feeding them – always a bad idea as it aids the spread of Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease. Learn more about its habits and hear its beautiful, bell-like calls.
Pied currawong is a large, mostly black bird with white wing patches and a bright yellow eye. They have a very distinctive flying pattern of two flaps and a glide. Learn more interesting facts about this very common Australian bird and why you might want to discourage it from your garden.