A Cockatoo Chorus

At this time of year, every morning between 9.30-10am there is a phenomenon in our skies that I hear before I see. It is a mighty flock of about 200 Corellas (a type of cockatoo) who fly over our town on their way to the gum trees that line the riverbank.

Some times they glide noiselessly overhead and then 1 or 2 will start to call and then all of a sudden they all join in. It is such a loud cacophony of noise it is extremely hard to miss. Lately, when I hear their chorus begin, I check my watch and it is more often than not 9.45am exactly which makes me smile.

I wonder where they are coming from and what the attraction is for where they are going. I wonder why the first call occurs. Are they giving directions? Taking a roll call? Warning of hazards? I doubt I will ever know.

To many in our area they are pests. They are loud and destructive and leave all sorts of mess wherever they go. They love to forage on the lawns and pull up shoots of grass to eat. The trouble is that they pull up clumps of grass to get to these shoots.

They land in the gum trees to the point when you think the tree could not possibly hold one more bird without toppling over. They get mistaken for seagulls by tourists (and some locals) which drives me nuts!! After all, here is a Corella …

And here is a seagull …

For some reason, these noisy, white, native birds really fascinate and intrigue me. What I have noticed is that you never see just 1 Corella. When 1 decides to fly off 1 or 2 will quickly follow. Then the bulk join in before the last few stragglers tag along.

I wonder who it is that gets to decide, and is it the same bird that calls the shots each time? I imagine what it would be like for the Corella who is quite comfortable sitting on that branch when all the others fly off. They could be a bit weary, or have finally found a spot near their friend and have started up a conversation when someone else decides it’s time to move on. Do they ever choose not to fly off with the rest of the flock?

It’s an odd train of thought, I know, but it amuses me as I watch these small creatures and their behaviours for the brief window of time when they choose to call our area home. It is not lost on me that there are plenty of people who behave like Corellas. They might join in with behaviours simply because everyone else is doing it.

There is a passage in the Bible that warns us of the dangers in just following on. Romans chapter 12 verse 2 encourages us not to conform to the pattern of the world. In our home I often remind my children that it is important to be the influencer in life, rather than the influenced because there are plenty of elements in our world which want to draw us away from making good choices.

So next time you see, or hear, some noisy Corellas, the challenge is now to remember the importance of being the influencer for good in this life.

Be blessed.

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