Once upon a time …

… the fruits of the Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata would have been part of the staple diet of our local Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.

Not so these days, as this once common tree is now close to extinct in the Newstead district. In fact, on the Moolort Plains, once a stronghold for Drooping Sheoak, there is not a single original tree left – although the foresight of the Moolort Landcare Group has led to many being planted over the years. A few individuals can still be found on the rocky ridges of the Muckleford and Sandon State Forests – it’s always a pleasant surprise to come across a specimen.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos have adapted to now feed on a wide variety of mainly exotic fruits, with olives, hawthorn and apples all local favourites.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo with Drooping Sheoak fruit, Wyndham Street Newstead, 30th April 2017

II

III

Making merry on Dandelion flowers

This season has seen a great crop of olives – favourite tucker for Sulphur-crested Cockatoos

The elms trees in our street provide ideal perches for feasting cockatoos

7 responses to “Once upon a time …

  1. How do you tell a male from a female sulphur crested?

  2. Helen Schofield

    How lovely to see these photos of yours!

  3. Thankfully they haven’t found my olive trees yet – great pics non the less.

  4. Allocasuarina verticillata  was once abundant across 400-600 mm rainfall zone but suffered the evolutionary disadvantage of being extremely palatable to rabbits and sheep, not to mention roos. At least the cockies let the tree grow up.

  5. Linda Newton

    Why did so many sheoaks disapear ?

  6. They eat my neighbour’s lemons too, but just the pips in the middle of the fruit. Must like the flavour or something.

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