A Sulphur-crested cockatoo eating a pine cone.
A Sulphur-crested cockatoo eating a pine cone. Contributed

Screeching into mating season

AS THE weather heats up, there may be some noisy visitors in your neighbourhood.

The National Parks and Wildlife Foundation has warned that residents may soon be hearing sulphur-crested cockatoos screeching as they look for a mate.

The foundation's Backyard Buddies initiative aims to raise awareness about wildlife in suburban areas and encourages residents to make them welcome.

The foundation's CEO, Steve Corbett, said most people would have seen the large white birds with a lemon yellow crest and heard its call.

"They breed from May to September. To attract a mate, a male sulphur-crested cockatoo struts Mick Jagger-style toward the female with his crest held high and his tail feathers spread out.

"He is a real charmer," Mr Corbett said.

Sulphur-crested cockatoos lay one to three eggs in tree hollows and both parents incubate them for 30 days. The chicks stay in the nest for a two months after hatching, and then remain with their family group indefinitely.

"That's why if you see one cocky, chances are, there's more about."

Anyone wanting to be a buddy to cockatoos should plant local native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees. But don't get too friendly with them.

"Avoid feeding a cockatoo, as what starts as one cute visitor can quickly become a large group descending on your place. These guys are used to feeding in flocks, so if a good food source is found, the word will get around."

 

Be a buddy to a cockatoo

Leave hollow branches and logs on trees for them to nest in.

Provide a nest box if possible.

Keep cats and dogs indoors as much as possible.



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