The Free Flight Bird Show at Taronga Zoo in Sydney has been my topic here for quite a few days now. Whenever we visit the zoo we make sure we schedule one of the shows into our schedule. It is also a great opportunity to get some good photos of the birds.
At the end of each show the keepers invite audience members to come forward and give some of the parrots a donation of a coin. The birds accept the coin in their beak and immediately drop it into the donation box. In this way over $75,000 has been raised for bird conservation in recent years. Today’s photo features one of those birds, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo which is a common bird in the Sydney region. It is also common in other parts of Australia too.
The Long-billed Black-cockatoo is also known as Baudin’s Cockatoo. In its natural habitat it is confined to the south western corner of Western Australia. I have seen this species on only a handful of occasions on my last visit to that state. Sadly, this was in 1978, so we are well overdue for a return visit to the beautiful state of Western Australia.
The next best thing is to view these beautiful birds in a zoo – surely a very poor second, but still good. On our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year we eagerly watched the Free Flight Bird Show, a twice daily introduction by the keepers to the birds of Australia. These cockatoos were on display after the show so that visitors could get a good, close up view of them. It also provided me with an excellent photo opportunity.
Australia has a number of Black-cockatoo species, including the Red-tailed Black-cockatoo shown in today’s post. These impressive large parrots are not easy to approach in the wild, so when we went to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year I was pleased to get these close up shots.
These birds are a part of the Free Flight Bird Show which is a feature of the programme at the zoo every day at noon and at 3pm. It is a great opportunity for zoo visitors to see some of our wonderful birds up close – and sometimes quite personal.
Red-tailed Black-cockatoos are found in their natural state in much of Queensland, the Northern Territory, parts of Western Australia and there is a small isolated population in western Victoria and SE South Australia. Seeing a flock flying overhead is an awesome sight, but seeing them up close like this at the zoo gave me a new appreciation of the delicate beauty of this stunning parrot.