noisy visitors in a neglected garden

The other morning a large flock consisting possibly of thousands of Little Corellas came to town.  Here's what they sounded like ...

After about half an hour they moved on. The birds who call the garden home drifted back and reclaimed their territory.  The frantic, harsh, raspy cacophony was replaced by more familiar peaceful birdsong ...

The Little Corellas were perched high in the plane tree in the street overlooking the garden, where they appeared to be eating leaves and seeds.

Little Corella badly photographed by me.
Sepia effect helps image to stand out a bit better. 
Little Corella from website Birds in Backyards
Here are some interesting facts about these birds ...

1. Their scientific name, Cacatua sanguinea, means 'Blood-stained Cockatoo' and refers to the dark pink marking between the eye and the bill.
2. They are widespread throughout Australia, and their range is increasing due to land clearing and increased water sources. (They like to graze on the ground).
3. They pair for life. Both sexes incubate the eggs and both care for the young chicks, that hatch naked and are initially totally dependent on their parents.
4. Their numbers are secure, with no threat of extinction. In some agricultural areas they may be considered pests.

Information from Birds in Backyards

My garden is starting to show the signs of my inability to tend to its needs.

The birdbath has creatures breeding and living in it. While fascinating to look at, I don't think they are particularly desirable: mosquito larvae.

It has been quite hot and not much rain. Some  plants are struggling, drooping and asking for water. This is unprecedented and is happening because the soil has not been cared for. No rich dark crumbly soil covered with a cosy blanket of mulch. Just grey dry earth, exposed to the elements, inhospitable to worms and all the tiny creatures that live in healthy soil.

I normally try not to interfere with cycles of insect life in the garden. But when I saw some eggs on a leaf on the Eucalytus leucoxylon that a couple of years ago had been decimated by caterpillars I decided to pick it.  If anyone out there knows what kind of eggs they are, and why some are cream and some are blue, I would be interested to know.


  1. Not sure what the eggs are, but probably different stages of development make for different colors...those birds look a tad big to be calling little...we have large flocks of nuisance birds as well but yours are prettier...

  2. Catmint, hi. I absolutely love the sound of a flock of Little Corellas, which seems to echo. I've heard masses of them out at Camperdown and Hamilton. Yes, the heat and dryness are a bit agonising. I had a family of kookaburras at the fence today - chortling wonderfully!

  3. What a racket! Thanks for the videos, I enjoyed hearing what's going on in your world. Don't care much for the mosquitos (they are also alive and well in Texas).

  4. The Corellas are kinda funny - I kept thinking they sounded like balloon noises when you slowly release the air and make all kinds of squeaky/farty sounds. Very pretty birds! I have a lonely mockingbird who sings at night near my bedroom window.

    The mosquito larvae would make me nervous. I have a plastic bird bath that's easy to tip, clean, and refill although the birds do a pretty good job of splashing all the water out by themselves.

    Hope you get some rain soon!

  5. Hi Catmint
    I like the technique of using the Video Cam to record sound.
    The Blue eggs might be parasitised by tiny wasps. Check out Brisbane Insects and Spiders website, for more information on how that works.

  6. I enjoyed the recordings. Thanks! It's a pleasure to be able hear the sound of your garden. I only have small birds coming to my garden. So they sound more chirpy. With those undesirable mosquito larvae, I have to destroy them by clearing water out from my potted water lilies every now.

    Have a restful weekend!

  7. Thanks for the videos, lovely to hear the sounds from your garden as well as having the photos. Lack of rain seems to be a problem world wide, hope you have some soon. Take things slowly in your garden, I'm finding that little and often works best for me, hope you feel better soon.

  8. Hi Donna, I think they are called little because compared to their cousins Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, they are small. I think Denis is right about the darker eggs being parasitized by wasps.

    HI Faisal, I love the sound, so vibrant and excited. What a thrill re the kookaburras - I haven't seen any round here for years.

    thanks CJ, I wish I could transmit scent as well.

    Hi NSARH, Lovely to catch up with you again! The mosquito larvae make me nervous too. There was a devious reason for including the video. My husband's job is to clean the bird bath. As soon as he saw the post he rushed out and cleaned it. I don't think I've heard a mockingbird. Now when I hear little corellas i will think of farty squeaky ballon sounds!

    Hi Denis, thanks for the info. That is a very plausible explanation. There is a photo quite similar in the section on parasitic wasps with insect eggs darker when wasp eggs have been inserted in them. Fascinating ...

    Hi Steph, in your climate I imagine mosquitos would be even worse than here.

    HI Pauline, it's not the lack of rain that's the main problem for me, it's the frustration that I can hardly do anything yet for a few more weeks. If only the soil were mulched then the dryness wouldn't matter so much... sigh... I have heard that in England you are experiencing a terrible drought. So sorry.

    cheers, catmint

  9. Love the videos - so exotic to us here. Noisy though - like Peacocks.

  10. I can't even imagine having a flock of cockatoos land in my trees! They would be escapees from a zoo if that happened! Good luck with the frog pond. :o) So cheap and easy!! You also might want to cover your garden with compost during the dormant season to feed the soil. Loved the bird sounds video - great idea. :o)

  11. Hi Hermes, I guess they do sound a bit like peacocks except I don't think peacocks fly in such large flocks, do they?

    thanks CM, got a friend today to cover part of the garden with compost, too weak to do it myself.

    Hi Wendy, I have noticed some websites dedicated to birds have recordings of their calls. I'm shortsighted so I'm more likely to hear them than see them, but I'm also finding it hard to learn to identify birds from their calls. I know your fear of insects, and sorry if I stress you out by showing eggs and stuff.

    cheers, catmint


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