Scavenging Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

To: "Birding-aus \(E-mail\)" <>, <>
Subject: Scavenging Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2007 23:03:54 +1100
Each year I have either Pied Currawongs or Australian Ravens nesting in the one very big Eucalypt in my back yard (Kambah, southern suburb of Canberra). This year (unfortunately) it was the Pied Currawongs. One of the at least two chicks appears to have got its leg caught in twigs or string or whatever and was left dangling and eventually (I don't know when) died, hanging down beside the nest. (I was away from home for a week and this happened whilst I was away.) That was about 2 weeks ago. The other chick fledged and is still being fed. The parent Currawongs immediately attack me every time I arrive home or step out the door, which makes arriving or leaving my house or hanging up washing or collecting the mail or anything similar, pretty unpleasant. Anyway, today there were three Sulphur-crested Cockatoo pruning or should I say removing most of the young apples from my granny smith apple tree, whilst just above them one other Sulphur-crested Cockatoo was having a nibble and the by now probably rather desiccated carcase of the Currawong chick. It was rather inefficiently plucking feathers off it and pulling at it a bit. I couldn't see with certainty that it was eating anything, but it sure looked likely. At times it was left hanging upside down whilst doing this, as the position of the dead chick was not easy to get at. Although birds feeding on the apples were much more skilled in biting off branches and feeding perched on one foot. I watched this for about ten minutes pre dusk until the birds feeding on the apple tree decided with their usual squawk that it was time to go off to their night roost and the all departed together.
This is probably not unprecedented but not that expected either.
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