A White Invasion


It was such a delightful way to start the day, watching two flocks of cockatoos descend into our neighbour’s tree and the empty block.  Cockatoos learn to talk and are very sociable, although they do have a tendency to nip. We met a very chatty one on Kangaroo Island late last year. He had a warning note on the wall of his aviary cage at the entrance to the wildlife park . Of course I had to test to see if it was true. It was !  Flocks of them often fly overhead. But I have never seen two very large flocks descend into our street like they did this morning.  The description of this very loud bird is so apt in this kid’s song, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s from a favourite CD of our kids when they were little.

He’s A Cockatoo  

by Don Spencer

It – may – sound absurd, but I’ve heard a bird,

Who screeches and makes speeches in the spoken word.

He’s got a snow white coat, and he can even quote,

Some lines from famous poems that Henry Lawson wrote.


And though he’s not been known to use a telephone,

he can hold a conversation on his own.

He’ll say ‘G’day’ and then he’ll fly away,

but he’ll be back to talk to us another day.


Chorus – He’s a Cockatoo – and he will talk to you,

Or imitate any sound you want him to.

He’s a cockatoo – he’s Aussie through and through.

He’s a ‘Hello cocky – have a cracker’, ‘Hello cocky – what’s the matter’.


He’s a sulphur crested cockatoo. He comes to visit me, a

nd sits up in a tree, and demonstrates his very vast vocabulary.

When he says ‘Hello mate’, you know his diction’s great.

If I could talk as well as him I’d run the state!


© Raili Tanska


11 thoughts on “A White Invasion

      1. As i would have! I got shots of green parakeets in trees in London but not this number!

    1. Cockatiels are smaller and more colourful. Cockatoos are an aussie native parrot. It’s actually quite a large bird, white, with a bright yellow crest which you can see when it fluffs the feathers on its head. I have never seen them land in our street, and certainly not in these numbers. Felt special.

  1. With all of the humdrum offerings in this day and age, experiences like this are absolutely appreciated. I’m humbled by the more meaningful things in life. Nature simply makes me happy. Thank you for sharing your story as well as appreciating mine. We must be bird magnets 😉

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