According to the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo “That’s what it’s all about”. After many years observing these birds, I’ve only just realised that they have all been left footers. This engaging parrot is quite catholic in its distribution throughout Eastern Australia, often making a nuisance of itself, raiding crops and splintering woodwork on houses. Having finished all the apples in my orchard last month, these cockatoos have been foraging for other food, in this case the Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus). This tree, usually found from North-eastern Victoria to Townsville, retains pods of ripened seed and becomes a great food source for a dexterous cockie to prise open. The seed is very nutritious (18gm protein and 25gm of fat per 100gm of seed). In Flowerdale, winter cold has set in, with its frosts and fogs, and with the nesting season only a month away, the cockatoos will really benefit from the Kurrajong seed.
Kurrajong seed is also good bush tucker and was used as a flour and roasted as well. I’m not sure what it tastes like, but will report back when I’ve collected enough to toss in a pan with a little olive oil. I don’t think it will taste like chicken, although the cockatoo might!
The Kurrajong tree also is a source of edible gum, an edible tap root on saplings and fibre from the bark for string making. I have also found the dry pods are good for boat races with the kids in running water.