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Flocks feasting on lush feed

It's that time of year where cockatoos and galahs feed on lush kikuyu grass.

DARREN LINTON May 9, 2014 5:21am

While at times the region’s parks resemble a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 movie thriller The Birds, an expert says there has not really been an invasion.

Galahs are congregating in parks and sporting ovals for a tasty treat and the birds, which are normally dispersed through native bush and less noticeable, are concentrated where the feast is finest.

Department of Environment and Primary Industries senior biodiversity officer Glen Johnson said at this time of year cockatoos, and particularly galahs, loved to feed on the ground on lush kikuyu grass.

‘‘Kikuyu grows in summer and galahs seem to love chewing it following the first frosts of the year — a time when the grass becomes dormant and starts to turn brown,’’ he said.

Mr Johnson said while it looked like the free-for-all would strip the ground bare, it actually had the opposite effect.

‘‘Due to the natural aerator effect, kikuyu lawns chewed by galahs often bounce back better the next growing season,’’ he said.

‘‘Even rougher pastures are also enjoyed by cockatoos and galahs at this time of the year, but they are after a different delicacy in these situations — the corms (underground bulbs) of the common weed onion grass.’’

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