one of the differences between the US and Australia

September 22, 2010

These are Galah, a species of cockatoo common in Australia.

I greatly amused a couple of the locals with my reactions to some of the local birds.  Which is to say, lots of species of parrots and cockatoos run wild in Australia, which for an American birdwatcher is pretty amazing.  So I would see like, oh, a sulfur crested cockatoo and completely freak out.  Like, “OMG holy crap that’s a COCKATOO sitting on a lamp post, just sitting there.  A cockatoo!  OMG!!!!”

The locals looked at me rather oddly and patted my head in a kind manner.  Because, to an Australian, what I had just said sounded a lot like, “OMG holy crap that’s a PIGEON sitting on a lamp post, just sitting there.  A pigeon!  OMG!!!!”

Like this:


10 Responses to “one of the differences between the US and Australia”

  1. Annamal Says:

    As a New Zealander traveling overseas I had a similar reaction to squirrels (OMG native land mammals squeeeee!!!)

    My partner reckons that cockatoos are lethally intelligent and seek only to encompass our doom.

  2. Kim Power Says:

    Loved this. Galahs are as stupid as cockatoos are intelligent. “Silly galah” is an epithet reserved for the terminally stupid. Cockatoos are smart as paint (why is paint smart?) and ferociously destructive. They just like to play with their toys – like our guttering, street cabling, overhead wires. Telstra, our telecommunications giant used to install all its new technology in the cockatoos’ aviary at Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary to test it out. If the cockies couldn’t wreck it, it was passed for installation.

  3. Kat Says:

    They leave those little things out of travel brochures. How cool!

  4. Mom Says:

    One time at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, I saw a tourist madly taking pictures of magpies. Around here they are mostly a nuisance bird.

  5. Jakk Says:

    ROFL @ Kim’s remark.
    “Silly Galah” is SO my new insult to idiots for now on.

  6. Emily Says:

    Hee. Kitty should go to Australia some time just so you can write that passage into the book.


  7. Doruk Says:

    This reminds me of the time when my parents and I were wowed by the deer walking around in my wife’s hometown.

  8. spiderorchid Says:

    Wow. Imagine all those beautiful birds and they’re not part of a zoo! ^_^

    I had a similar reaction when I moved from the Cologne area to the rural parts of North Germany ten years ago: deer! In the garden! Eating my flowers! – That last part is annoying, but it still amazes me to look out the window and see beautiful deer in my herb garden.

  9. Kneosha Says:

    The gahlas are also called Rosebreasted cockatoos. My mom has an Umbrella cockatoo and god he is so smart. The bird can get the lid off of a childproof Tylenol bottle.

  10. Helen Says:

    I has exactly the same reaction when I was in Australia. I saw a Cocatoo sitting on a balcony and thought ‘Oh no someone’s pet parrot has escaped!’
    I was also amazed by the Ibis in Brisbane which are so proficiant at opening dustbins to scavenge inside that they has to put special Ibis proof locks on all of the bins.

    I was also freaked out by the huge fruit bats which would randomly land in the tree next to our balcony in the evenings.

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