Two of the most regular and prolific breeds of bird that visit our garden are the King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas, and they are always welcome, especially if the King Parrots stay in small numbers. Oddly, for some reason, when there’s one group around, the other is not far away and it’s almost as if they rely on each other in some way. Over Winter, the appearance of both become few and far between, and where they go I have no idea; however, come Spring, they most certainly make their presence known. Like our Magpies, Blackbirds (with an unfortunate scientific name), Red Wattlebirds, Kookaburras and recently a pair of what appear to be Common Bronzewing Pigeons, they seem to make this area their home, or at least a regular haunt, which is fine by us.
This year we haven’t had anywhere near the number of King Parrots that we’ve had in previous years, and I suspect that it’s because they are finding better food sources in the area. There have been many new residents moving into the township and our local hardware store has been selling unprecedented numbers of full bags of black sunflower seed (which the King Parrots love). I suspect that these new residents have taken to the King Parrots and are doing their utmost to keep them happy and coming back. Black sunflower seeds, in copious quantities, will most certainly achieve that aim. For our part, we’re happy to have the smaller numbers and a somewhat more peaceful bird life.
What’s been very surprising is that the Rosellas, if they are the same ones, appear to have become far more used to us and don’t fly off the moment that we appear on our veranda. They’re still a little skittish, but nothing like they were a year or so ago. I think it also helps that our two Labradors seem to have accepted all the birds in general and don’t chase them the moment they come near us, though our boy still thinks that he needs to show who’s boss every now and again. Mind you, neither hounds have ever had an issue with the Rosellas, only the King Parrots and that may be because the King Parrots often taunt them by sitting on the gutter, daring them to try and reach them. On the other hand, the Rosellas never stir the pot and that must make them more acceptable.
We do have a bit of an oddball one hanging about, which took me a while to figure out what it was, as the colouration is sort of a combination of both King Parrot and Crimson Rosella. This one mixes it with both the Rosellas and King Parrots, so it wasn’t immediately obvious to which group it belonged until I got some photographs that gave me a better view. It’s a juvenile Crimson Rosella and the plumage hasn’t quite developed into the full solid colours of an adult. The blue of the cheeks is the giveaway, and while the breast feathers are slowly morphing into the traditional bright red, the green of the wings will need a lot of change to match that of the adult Crimson Rosellas.
And no sooner had I spoken to my wife about the fact that it’s good that the Galahs that we’d been hearing in the distance generally stayed away, that we had a bunch of them arrive in our yard. Sometimes I swear that one bird or another relays things about and suddenly we get inundated. The Galahs especially, out of most breeds, make an awful racket and you quickly tire of their screeching and squawking, especially when there are young ones amongst them. Surprisingly, along with the Galahs was a lone Little Corella that I first mistook for a young Cockatoo, which was quickly dismissed when I got a better look at the photograph. I’m not sure why the Corella was following the Galahs, maybe it has been adopted or become a mate.
It doesn’t really matter though, as it’s all good. As long as the birds are happy and non-destructive (and not too noisy), we’re happy and more than happy to give them some additional food to add to their natural diet, which they find in the trees and bushes in our back yard. After the searing hot days we had just before Christmas, the King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas are now very happy that things have cooled down once again and so are we.
And on that note, with all the colours of Christmas and ‘songs of joy’ in our backyard, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.