»Click on Spike to go back to the home page«
  1. This website is Dedicated to Educating Caregivers about the Physical, Emotional, Psychological, Intellectual and Nutritional Needs of the Parrots in their Lives. 

 Sally Blanchard's Book Sales, Tongue-in-Beak Clayworks, Color Pencil Drawings, Parrot and Bird Collectibles
Please sign the Guestbook and let me know what you think of the website and what information you find valuable!
If you want to receive the FREE Companion Parrot Online NEWSLETTER
- Please send me your name, state, and e-mail.
 Questions?
Email me

It takes time and money to maintain this website and new information is added on a daily basis.
Please help me to keep Companion Parrot Online going and growing. 

Donate a
Thank You Gift
$15.00 
$20.00 
 
$25.00
  
...  or purchase a publication, art work or collectible from the website. Thank you! 
 
DISCLAIMER: 
This is the ONLY official 'Sally Blanchard', "Companion Parrot", "Companion Parrots", etc. website that is related to Sally Blanchard and her information. Any other website using the Sally Blanchard, Companion Parrot, Bongo Marie, Spikey LeBec, and/or Pet Bird Report name is in no way associated with Sally Blanchard. Any information on any other site whether it is parrot information, behavior recommendations or product promotion is neither approved nor sanctioned by Sally Blanchard without written permission.
 


 GALAHS PLAYING
AROUND AND AROUND
 
 

By Lynne Page
Drawing by Jeff Riebe

“Galahs Play in a Willy-willy in the Northern Territory” 
by Julian Reid, Emu Vol. 94, Part 3, Sept ’94, pg. 221-222

A Swinging Cockatoo

My bare-eyed cockatoo, Marshmallow, likes to hang by her feet from my hand while I swing her in a big arc. Occasionally a human spectator will question whether Marshmallow could really enjoy such treatment. Now I have a great response for these skeptics.

This short article and an early one to which it refers report a fascinating “play behavior” of some wild rose-breasted cockatoos (known as Galahs in their native Australia).

Flocks have been observed entering vortices (what I would call whirlwinds or dust devils and what Aussies apparently call willy-willies.) The birds spiral acrobatically, calling loudly, leave the vortex, and then catch up with it to take another spin. In this particular instance, the birds took their E-ticket ride in five or six short bursts spanning a total of 30 to 40 seconds.  The flock “flew leisurely back to a group of Ironwood” to settle in the trees as the willy-willy continued out of sight.

The author speculates that this behavior is “cultural” and may not be practiced by all Galahs. He notes that he has seen thousands of vortices and only once seen this parrot play.

Based on his observations of Little Corellas (bare-eyed cockatoos), he suggests that species “is likely to behave in this way.” He has frequently seen both Galahs and little Corellas engaging in the “more common form of apparent play behavior” of “hanging onto the blades of a windmill and spinning round and round with the revolving fan … (T)he corellas appear to be more enthusiastic … in their endeavors to hang on precariously and fall off noisily before regaining their position, often at the expense of another.”

Compared to this, a few swings from my hand seem pretty tame. 

Website Builder