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Photos by Frits and Paula
Kept singly as pets and seeming to enjoy human company, sulphur crested cockatoos are known world wide. Avid mimics, individuals are remembered as saying everything from the familiar, “Hello, Cocky,” to the no doubt useful, “Look out Len. Here come the cops!” said to have been a warning often received on Sunday afternoons by a publican who was serving drinks out of hours.
In the wild, cockies fly in flocks or pairs, screeching loudly, and often seek to drive smaller cockatoos and parrots from an area they fancy.
Another noisy bird is the sacred ibis. One wonders whether these might be related to the Stymphalian Birds whose eradication was one of the tasks of Herakles. Although they don't eat human flesh, they otherwise fit the classical description pretty neatly. Large groups nest close together in trees near water or over swamp land, making the area below smelly and dirty. They are not an asset to farmers, and they take advantage of sanctuaries that invite visitors, patrolling paths and picnic areas to demand food.
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