They come over 'ere, they take our bird-seed... wait, no they don't

Blue-eyed cockatoo

I originally thought this blue-eyed cockatoo was, in another triumph of creative bird naming, called a Blue-eyed Cockatoo, but as commenters below point out, it's actually a Little Corella.

It showed up all by itself at the feeding table, and grumpily snapped at the sulphur-crested cockatoos when they tried to get some of the seed. The newcomer is significantly smaller than a sulphur-crested, with a much less impressive crest, but it's bigger - and apparently more bad-tempered - than a galah.

The newcomer was very successful at keeping the usually-boisterous mob of bigger birds away for a few minutes, while it filled up on the mound of sunflower seeds. (I am, as regular readers know, engaged in an ongoing experiment to determine whether wild cockatoos can become obese.) Then it flew away.

It took me a few tries to identify this bird [and then, as I've mentioned, I got it wrong...], because I couldn't find anything resembling it in Birds in Backyards' excellent Bird Finder. The Finder usually leads you quite easily to the right Australian bird - it's my first stop whenever I see a new feathered beastie here in Katoomba. But it didn't work this time.

I thought that meant this wasn't an Australian bird; if it actually had been a Blue-eyed Cockatoo, it would have been a slightly endangered native of the Bismarck Archipelago of New Guinea. That's about 3100 kilometres (1926 miles, 558 leagues, 15,410 furlongs) from this house. As the crow, or cockatoo, flies.

So I figured this one was probably an escaped pet. But since it's actually a Little Corella - the bags under the eyes are quite distinctive, if the crest isn't up - the only odd thing is that I've never seen one at the feeder before. I don't know why I didn't find this bird's page on Birds In Backyards. Perhaps someone forgot to tick the "blue" box in the "colours" part of that database entry, or perhaps I insisted it was finch-shaped, or something.

15 Responses to “They come over 'ere, they take our bird-seed... wait, no they don't”

  1. Hans Says:

    I'm pretty sure that I speak on behalf of a lot of visitors when I say: We want a movie!

  2. TwoHedWlf Says:

    You have to laugh at some of the naming of animals like that. Though, you can't really fault someone giving something a name that actually describes its distinguishing features.

    So do what scientists do, instead of calling it a blue eyed cockatoo, call it a blue eyed cockatoo in LATIN! Then you'll sound smart. Psittaciformes Cacatuidae ophthalmica

    BTW, that bird is a corella, not a blue eyed cockatoo. Definitely an aussie.

  3. unfunk Says:

    yeah, looks like a Corella to me too.

    also, 0.01 light seconds

  4. Mark Cocquio Says:

    Yep looks pretty Corella-ey to me :)

  5. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Mea culpa - you're quite right. I've edited the post accordingly.

  6. Chazzozz Says:

    We used to get large numbers of Little Corellas in our back yard (when we lived in place that had a back yard...), usually with a goodly number of Galahs, too. They all seemed to get along peaceably well. When the Sulphur-Crest gang showed up it was often a heated, and loud, argument until one side or the other cleared out. One thing about Little Corellas is they have a long, moaning squawk that they'll carry on with for hours. It can really get on your nerves.

    Of course, whenever the Black Cockatoos came a-calling everyone cleared out (including the Kookaburras).

  7. Jonadab Says:

    Wait, the seed's just sitting there in the open on a ledge, and *birds* are getting some of it?

    How does that work? Does Australia not have squirrels?

  8. RichVR Says:

    "Does Australia not have squirrels?"

    Yes they do. But the squirrels there eat venomous snakes.

  9. macro Says:

    Dan's lucky to have got that shot. Annoy a corella and it'll go for your eyes. On a less serious note, they're a fairly common sight around Adelaide (Australia), where they like to fossick around in small groups on open grassy areas.

  10. macro Says:

    Oops - I was actually thinking of galahs (the avian variety). I guess I still haven't fully recovered from the shock of my last encounter with a corella.

  11. captinkid Says:

    I did not know you were a fan of Irish drinking songs, or do they have the same one in Australia?

    Original Version:

    They come over here
    and they take all our land.
    They chop off our heads
    and they boil them in oil.
    Our children are leaving
    and we have no heads.
    We drink and we sing
    and we drink and we die.

    We have no heads.
    No, we have no heads!

    They come over here
    and they chop off our legs.
    They cut off our hands
    and put nails in our eyes.
    O'Grady is dead
    and O'Hanrahan's gone.
    We drink and we die
    and continue to drink.

    O'Hanrahan...No, O'Hanrahan!

  12. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Well, I did know where that one came from without having to look it up.

    On the down side, I liked No Cure For Cancer before I knew about the sainted Bill Hicks' complaints about Leary pinching his gags.

    But on the up side again, whether or not Leary ripped shit off, Bill ain't using it no more. And many of the Leary-haters seem to believe the guy has no original material, which is of course untrue. And Denis was in Demolition Man, which has to be a feather in anybody's cap.

    (Bill was still alive when they made Demolition Man. I like the idea of leaving Leary where he was and putting Hicks in Nigel Hawthorne's role. Hawthorne totally phoned it in anyway, and Bill was all about blank-eyed hatred of those beneath his consideration. Action-movie villains are, as I've mentioned before, comic characters.)

  13. Bastard Child Says:

    "Does Australia not have squirrels?"

    "Yes they do. But the squirrels there eat venomous snakes."

    And the Drop Bears keep the squirrel population under control. Circle of life and all that shit...

  14. mistys_sweetheart Says:

    he looks just like my corella, Bernie. Who is also a feisty little bugger! Just a warning about black sunflower seeds. They contain lots of oil (im sure you already knew that lol) and im told if the birds eat too many it actually overdoses(for want of a better word) them causing them to loose feathers and go bald. Bernie had this problem and he only stopped loosing feathers after i removed most of the black seeds from his diet. So they arnt real good for the health of the bird! Striped sunflowers are much safer.

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