Help, my neighbour thinks we have giant attack birds!

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emdeme
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Help, my neighbour thinks we have giant attack birds!

Hi everyone, this is my first post here, I thought you might be amused by my conversation with a neighbour.  We have a native garden at Lake Macquarie NSW and I leave the Banksia pods on the trees for the birds.  Yesterday I noticed about 10 x 20 cm long branch ends on the ground around the base of one of the Banksias -'Yellow Wings' I think it is.  Then my elderly neighbour pops his head over the fence with tales of 2 giant black birds that were 'destroying' my tree.  In his estimation they were each about 1.2 m long (he said 3/4 of his body length)x 30 cm wide in the body, black with a white beak and yellow eye. His main concern was that if these 'giant' birds landed on his tv aerial they would snap it in 2, and also that if there were any small children around the birds would 'carry them away'!  I can only guess that what he actually saw were ravens that are in the area, or even better for me would be that they were black cockatoos given that they were feeding on the Banksia pods.  Any suggestions as to what the birds would be, leaving out of course any prehistoric visitations to my yard?* Update from this post, I had a flock of 6 Yellow Tailed black cockatoos in my garden in early September plus about another 6 I could see fling close by.  So that solves the problem of what they are and I am really pleased to see them in the garden.  Haven't spoken to the neighbour since, I believe he is probably hiding under the bed in fear of being carried away!  He does have a fear of trees as well as birds and his yard is devoid of anything but tortured shrubs.  No danger of any birds visiting there!

triker1
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Sounds like yellow-tailed black cockatoos to me except for the yellow eye. Males have a pink eye ring, maybe that's what he saw. They're fairly common where I live in Port Stephens so I'm sure they around Lake Macquarie and they like banksia.

emdeme
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Yes I was thinking a black cockatoo which I am really pleased with even if I didn't see them!  I think maybe my neighbour needs to get his eyes tested given his estimation of their size!  I think the small children of the neighbourhood are quite safe.

emdeme

Woko
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Yes, edeme, the neighbourhood children are quite safe from these birds which, like triker, I suspect are Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, notwithstanding your elderly neighbour's report of a yellow eye. In fact, the neighbourhood children as well as your neighbour may be interested to learn that the Cockatoos are pruning your Banksia, not destroying it. You are indeed fortunate to be attracting these birds & the birds are indeed fortunate to have you planting their favoured food. Your neighbour would do well to go forth & do likewise.

emdeme
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Hi Woko, thanks for the reply.  I have often read that I should be cutting the cones off the banksias but wanted to leave them for the birds, hoping that I might attract more to my yard.  We have the usal noisy miners & magpies and occasionally lorikeets and parrots and I am thrilled to think we have yellow tailed black cockatoos.  Now I just have to convince my neighbour that they are not some evil creatures intent on carrying off the children!  I really don't know where he got that from, but he was very concerned for the 6 year olds in particular!  His estimation of their size was quite amusing and I did manage to keep a straight face because he was seriously concerned for his tv aerial as well as the children.  I will keep on planting natives and I only hope I will get a chance to actually see the cockatoos myself.

emdeme

emdeme
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Hi again, I wasn't sure how to add an update so have put it on my original post but I see now there is a  place to add further information. Please forgive my inexperience!  In early September I had 6 Yellow tailed black cockatoos in my yard 1 morning about 7.30 am, plus another 6 flying in the suburb nearby.  I hope they have decided to include my garden in their regular flights now.

emdeme

Woko
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It's great to learn that the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos are still in your neck of the woods. They'll certainly be advantaged by the Banksia cones you leave on the tree/shrub. Hopefully, your neighbour is now a fully fledged Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo lover & has been busy planting their habitat. 

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