Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Glossy Blacks Drinking, Grass Owls Mob Ground Parrot Playback at Noosa

Glossy Black Cockatoo - male left, female right

Despite an abundance of water about the Sunshine Coast due to ongoing wet weather, Noosa's Glossy Black Cockatoos have taken to drinking every evening at muddy pools in the grounds of a local school.

Glossy Black Cockatoo male
It is interesting that during the day, the Glossy Blacks in the ara are dispersed, feeding usually in pairs at various sites over four Sunshine Coast suburbs. However, at least a good part of the population comes together for late afternoon drinking and roosting.

Glossy Black Cockatoo male

Glossy Black Cockatoo female
I ran into local birder Bob Carey, who first spotted the cockatoos at this drinking spot. Bob keeps an eye on the cockatoos and confirms that as many as 11 cockatoos gather for the evening ritual.

Eastern Grass Owl - Picture Jim Sneddon
As dark fell, I moved to a private property adjoining an area of wallum heath in the area to listen for Ground Parrots. When none had called within an hour of sunset, I tried a bit of Ground Parrot playback. I was amazed when two Eastern Grass Owls arrived on the scene and began swooping around me.

Ground Parrot - Picture Graeme Chapman

This is extraordinary behaviour. Ground Parrots are believed to have declined sharply in numbers on the Sunshine Coast in recent years (see here for more), possibly due to habitat fragmentation or mismanagement. The owls seemed to know the source of the playback and were very interested. Was predation on their mind?

Wallum heath near Noosa

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos - ground parrot image is fabulous.