Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Palm Cockatoo in Pandanus

Palm Cockatoo in Pandanus, originally uploaded by maxful.
You must travel to Far North Queensland, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia to see these incredible birds in home territory. It's worth the effort because your encounter with Palm Cockatoos is never forgotten. A powerful vocal range, from ear shattering call to incessant sweet chatter, almost convinces the bird is speaking to you. Top-heavy headgear and an massive wingspan in flight are all part of the heart-stopping moment.

Once, just once, in FNQ I shared this marvellous experience. Just out of camera reach the pair became a series of quick diary sketches. Not as shiny black as, say, crows and ravens, the birds appeared to have a sooty, charcoal colour. But how do you capture nature in a mere illustration. I chose to place them in Pandanus, whose fruit and nuts are hardly competition for such impressive beaks.

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