As this is my first blog post I wanted to start with some hard hitting reporting. I’m currently reading Edward Abbey’s Abbey’s Road, I’m only about 25 pages in so i’m not going to give a review here. However there was a section of the book that gave me pause, here is the excerpt.
“Walking south of the station headquarters one day, I observed parrot like birds swinging from the telephone line that connected Anna Creek to the exchange at William Creek and points beyond. Taking off, landing again, in well-drilled multitudes, hanging upside down from the wire and swinging back and forth, sometimes flipping clear around, the cockatoos were slowly but surely pulling the line to the ground.”
This I had to look into. The thought of a bird enjoying destruction so much that it was actually “flipping clear round” the wires seems like a bird I would like to get to know. I was worried that since this book was published in 1972 that advances had been made that would thwart this avian onslaught. It turns out that my fear may be partially true. While I couldn’t verify the destructive cockatoo acrobatics described by Mr. Abbey I did find several headlines that confirmed for me that cockatoos may in fact be assholes.
“Cockatoos are destroying one of my trees, how do I get them to leave?”
“How do I stop a cockatoo from attacking my property?”
“Guidelines for reducing cockatoo damage.”
“Cockatoos are literally destroying my house.”
I wish I could express the amount of joy each of these headlines gives me. I had to know, why are cockatoos such assholes?? While I was partially satisfied knowing that out there in this large spinning globe we call the earth there is a bird that could cause a headline such as “Cockatoos attack!”, I was still only partially satisfied.
I will not pretend to be a researcher and I only put in a small amount of time looking into what can only be described as the Cockatoo Apocalypse. But this is all I needed to realize that the cockatoo is the Black Metal musician of the bird world. Here is a paragraph from the cockatoo wikipedia page under the section “Pest”.
“Several species of cockatoo can be serious agricultural pests. They are sometimes controlled by shooting, poisoning or capture followed by gassing. Non-lethal damage mitigation methods used include scaring, habitat manipulation and the provision of decoy food dumps or sacrifice crops to distract them from the main crop. They can be a nuisance in urban areas due to destruction of property. They maintain their bills in the wild by chewing on wood but, in suburbia, they may chew outdoor furniture, door and window frames; soft decorative timbers such as western red cedar are readily demolished. Birds may also target external wiring and fixtures such as solar water heaters, television antennae and satellite dishes. A business in central Melbourne suffered as sulphur-crested cockatoos repeatedly stripped the silicone sealant from the plate glass windows. Galahs and red-tailed black cockatoos have stripped electrical cabling in rural areas and tarpaulin is targeted elsewhere. Outside Australia, the Tanimbar corella is a pest on Yamdena Island where it raids maize crops.”
From my deep knowledge and understanding of cockatoos, “Non-lethal damage mitigation methods used include scaring” seems laughable at best and dangerous at worst. These birds obviously worship at the altar of the Dark One and unless you want a baby goat to be sacrificed in your backyard I wouldn’t recommend scaring them. It’s probably best to just let them eat the glazing off your widows and chew up your outdoor furniture and spare the livestock and Christians the heartache.
During my extensive research it came to my attention that cockatoos make exceptional pets which is odd considering most of the pictures and stories that I saw where of cockatoos being bastards.
As far as I’m concerned, the evidence is overwhelming cockatoos are amazing birds and we are all luckier to be living in such a special place. I suppose the next obvious question is should I get a cockatoo as a pet? I think the above evidence makes it very clear…absolutely not, cockatoos are assholes.