We’ve had a mob of at least fifteen yellow tailed black cockatoos hanging around in the last few days, mewing like strangled cats and being chased around by magpies and (I think) even noisy minors.  We get the yellow tails quite often around these parts, especially in the winter-time, thanks to the large and sickly but apparently tasty radiata pines that loom over our place.

The rule in Hornsby Shire is you can cut down a tree that’s within three metres of the foundations of your house.  If only there was some special by-law where the council chops down the tree for you for free if you can’t slip a paperback book between a towering pine and your bathroom.  One of these days I’ll be communing with nature and the nearest treebole will swell just that tiny bit further and burst straight through into the shower cubicle. That fresh piney smell with not a cent spent on disinfectant.

It’s been very very very windy in Sydney lately, and quite a few people have been unfortunate enough to experience that piney odour, quickly followed by plenty of refreshing indoor rain. We’ve been pretty lucky, but we’ve spent a lot of time staring anxiously out the window at various ominously swaying monumental specimens.  When I lived in Brisbane I used to be a bit judgey about the lawn to tree ratio in most peoples’ yards.  But if cyclones start creeping their way down the coast I may have to reconsider.

Yellow tailed black cockatoos are doing pretty well on the east coast, including urban areas, no doubt thanks to their penchant for pines.  But apparently they often struggle to find nesting sites, preferring hollows in trees a century or more old.  They seem to like our senescent radiatas, and spend time perched high on the various dead branches voguing.  I hope, when we finally save enough shekels to pull down the extensive array of dangerous trees in our yard, we still see them.

5 thoughts on “Timber!

  1. Oh my, they are beautiful birds but from my own experiences with cockatoos in house trees during drought, I can sympathise about the noise! I have similar problems with my trees being too close to my house here. I’ve been saying for a while now that I’ll be living in a tree house soon if all the tree roots from my close leafy yard companions keep growing. I love my trees and have little lawn but I really need to clear some away from the house. It’s so very expensive to have them removed though. I think that the only reason they haven’t blown down in storms is because all the roots are intertwined and anchor each other. We’ve had some crazy weather of late. I hope you don’t have that fresh piney smell indoors soon! I always enjoy your posts. 🙂

    • I actually don’t mind the noise – or the noise of any of the birds that visit is (even the koels!). Being deaf in one ear probably helps – I can always roll over on my good ear and go back to sleep! I think our dodgy trees have locked roots with others like yours Jane. Long may that continue on both our properties!!

  2. We have yellow tailed black cockies that like a nearby pine plantation. I was pretty excited to see them in the garden on one occasion, but then I saw them clipping off thick spruce branches with their huge curved beaks. Maybe your pines would be a lot bigger without them, and already have invaded your bathroom.

  3. Pingback: Russet trees & scarlet tails | Berowra backyard

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