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Love Birds on Valentine's Day
A tale of true romance in Queensland, Australia
Eric Shackle (Shack)     Print Article 
Published 2007-02-14 11:13 (KST)   
©2007 Julius Bergh

Julius Bergh has written what may be the world's most appealing photo-story.

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At a time when there is so much doom and gloom, Julius's tale of two love-struck Australian sulphur-crested cockatoos has captivated Internet users around the world.

It all began eight years ago when a female cockatoo flew into a car and broke her wing, which then had to be amputated. Julius adopted the bird, after obtaining the necessary National Parks and Wildlife permit, and kept her in a cage in his garden in Queensland, Australia.

Julius was impressed when she interacted with the wild cockatoos that often visited her. He was particularly struck by the way she pushed lettuce leaves through the bars of the cage, offering food to her wild visitors.

One day in 2006 it became apparent that the female cockatoo had a suitor with romantic intentions! "There was a lot of talking and grooming. A bloke has to look presentable when courting a bird!" Writes Julius.

The suitor was so keen that he worked out how to open the tamper proof latch on the cage door. His lady love's disability was no obstacle to the developing relationship. Julius explains:

"At first it seemed as though he was annoyed because she did not fly off with him and he would squawk a lot. He soon came to understand that she could not fly so he just stayed.

"However, she was no longer returning to her cage. The two of them would stay in the trees in our garden and because the yard is well fenced, they were safe from dogs, but the neighbor's cat is not kept indoors at night and we often have to chase it away."

The male dug a nest in the ground for his lady love and she laid eggs, which hatched after three weeks. The male cockatoo is a very protective father. Julius says:

"Whenever Mum and Dad Cockatoo leave the nest, we try to get a look but you have to do it while running because Dad Cockatoo is chasing you!"

Julius took photographs of the romance and posted the love story on his Web site. Within a few days it was visited by thousands of people from around the world. Julius writes:

"At first we were amazed by the overwhelming response, but if you think about it, love, loyalty and parenting are universal values."

Julius's latest venture is to issue a series of attractive e-cards for Valentine's Day.

Let's hope that his next move will be to install a Web cam, so that the world's millions of birdlovers can watch those amazing cockies -- live!

A few years ago, the Brisbane (Queensland) daily newspaper The Courier-Mail attracted worldwide attention when it set up a Web cam showing the day-to-day activities of a family of peregrine falcons.

A Web cam showing Julius's intelligent cockies would be a surefire winner. Passionate parrots are even more interesting than peregrine falcons!
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

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