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Flocks of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos are currently gorging on pine cones and other seeds. Screeching and squabbling over the plentiful feast, they litter the ground below with debris of half eaten cones and nipped off twigs. You can read more about them at and listen to the cacophony of their raucous call (copyright © Fred Van Gessel)

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Another familiar sight, though usually in smaller groups is the Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo sitting loftily on the high branches of pine trees. On a walk to Frederica Falls (South Lawson) I heard a loud high pitched squealing noise on the path ahead. Intrigued I investigated the source of this strange bird-sound and found a pair of black cockatoos on low branches – huge birds at close range. You can see pictures at and listen to their wierd call (copyright © Fred Van Gessel)

While I had not previously associated this sound with them, I have heard it almost daily ever since – funny how that happens.

Birds are a wonderful part of the Blue Mountains environment where over 200 species can be seen. However, I find them difficult to photograph so there will be very few bird photos in this journal.

Words to Walk With:
From Field Guide to Birds of Australia by Simpson and Day.

  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita
    White, Sulphur-yellow forward-curving crest. Underwing, undertail washed yellow. Size 45cm. Voice extremely loud, raucous screech.
  • Yellow-Tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus
    Yellow tail panel, cheek patches. Most body feathers edged pale yellow. Size 56-66cm. Voice wailing “kee-ow”