What you observed is not uncommon in Galahs, and I imagine Little and
Long-billed Corellas would do the same thing. Galahs have been seen sliding
down the stays used to support power poles, then flying back to the top and
sliding down again, all the time screeching and flapping wings. Towards dusk,
these three cockatoo species seem to go a little "mad", and often fly at high
speed, weaving through trees and calling, before settling down to roost.
Rowley, in his book "The Galah" describes this as "mad flight". It can also be
observed in the early morning. Long-billed Corellas, which I studied for
several years, seem to engage in several "play" activities. One is to seize a
small twig in the beak while flying past a tree, and carry it for some time,
before dropping it, accompanied by "excited" calling. Another I have seen
several times while the birds are feeding on Onion Grass (Romulea) corms, a
staple food. Sometimes a large clod of soil is dug up, and birds will hold this
in the feet and roll on their backs, biting at the soil. This is not directed
at removing corms to eat, but appears to be "fun".
While these intelligent birds are common, it is often rewarding to spend some
time observing their behaviour.
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