26 December 2020

88. Happy Christmas from the Angel on the Tree Top


Christmas Day was yesterday. I didn’t imagine it, but birds seemed to be in on the human celebrations, tweeting from 5 am to 7 pm. Especially the Cockies who are kind of cocky at the best of times.


Though my daughter and I decorated the huge live Christmas tree with every available decoration, I love to see a real Cocky on top of a pine tree.

 



The look always seems festive.



Sulphur-crested Cockatoos aren’t at my place all year round.

 


Each flock has their own roosting site which they keep even when they need to fly far away for food.


These big birds feed from seeds and grains on the ground until there is nothing left, then move to a fresh area, eating that until it’s exhausted as well.


A flock of Cockies can decimate a crop of oats quite quickly.



After grazing all morning, they like to sit high on a perch and strip the bark and leaves off a tree for fun.



It’s how they sharpen their beaks, but it’s destructive on doors and verandas, porches, gazebos; anything made from wood.



These yellow crested birds have been visiting our orchard. 


The lush peach trees have just begun to ripen. 

 


Birds pecking holes in our peaches isn’t great.


With the drought we had about five pieces of fruit from as many trees last year. 




We’ve been looking forward to eating the luscious summer fruit for months.


Cockatoos don’t eat much, it’s more of a plaything, but they do ruin the fruit.



They look like angels up at the top of a pine or dotting a gum tree with their glorious white plumes and curved yellow crests.


But piercing the peaches or stripping leaves and branches from trees is in their devilish nature.


Of an evening, Cockatoos head back to their roosting tree.

 


Anyone who has ever been near one tells of the ear-splitting noise as the birds screech out goodnight from before dusk to after nightfall.



Cockies fight, huddle, preen and peck, jostling over the best positions on each limb, and it’s deafening.



There’s no roosting tree nearby, but I see the birds fly past most days.



It’s a thing of beauty, at least until the squawking starts.



Yin and yang, good and bad. 


Everyone and everything has both in them.


These birds are no different, though they look innocent enough in pure white. 

 










Angelic is the word. 


At Christmas time, they look better than the biggest and best decorated tree. 

This year our live,14 foot tall Christmas tree took hours of decorating.

Big, beautiful birds with cheeky eyes, the natural Cocky atop a pine outside still looks better to me; it has the holiday season written all over it.







 


People look at my blog from Hong Kong to Russia, the UK and France, the Middle East and India too. 



Wherever you are in the world, whether winter or summer, if you celebrate Christmas, I wish you had the most glorious day.



A time full of love, laughter, joy and the hope for an end to Covid-19 in  2021.





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