16 September 2008

Close Encounters


Any day Cacatua galerita* earns the short
straw is a memorable one – thus today is
sweetly summed to be recalled delightfully.
They set the frigid dawn alight with calls to
arms, a mutiny of sulphur crested cockatoos
were bested there in raucous air and put to
flight by currawongs and crows.

At first abuse seemed but ribald disputes
more or less about territory, loud personal
gestures perhaps but when punctuated by
indisputable skills of aerial combat – of mock
attack and over-flight designed to intimidate,
it was clear the cockatoos were being told
to go elsewhere – and to do it right away.

Entertaining, free, much more fun than
Attenboroughed wildlife videoed in soup
entrees – a thrill of early morning sun had
warmed their wings to soar and swoop and
wheel with daring ease; thankfully the airy
close encounters raised a heat too great for
said cockatoos to stay and contemplate...
© 11 July 2008, I. D. Carswell

*Cacatua galerita – Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.