Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Problems faced by Black Cockatoos

On Sunday I went to a Black Cockatoo Sanctuary with Mark and Lee Stothard, Christian and Mike Fletcher and a number of other photographers. The couple who run the sanctuary take in injured birds and rehabilitate them. Then they release them into the wild – in the old growth forest surrounding Nannup. They are concerned because apparently the old growth forest they release the birds in is about to be logged – they are concerned that if they release birds they will be caught up in the logging.

I cannot fathom why anyone would want to log old growth forest – this is irreplaceable. I lived in Europe for a few years in the 1980’s and every “forest” I saw had the trees planted in lines on a grid. Western Australia is a place with a stable political environment and natural forests – a tourism bonanza in the future.

Sunday was the first day for quite a while with clear blue sunny skies – exactly the worst conditions for photographing forest. Waayy to much contrast. I fared better in the cage with the black cockatoos. These redtails are real characters, but I am sure they would prefer to be free. I think this image conveys that – regardless of how you photograph them in a cage they are not natural. My wife thought they were agitated and she was probably right.

Photographing these birds in the close confines of the cage is not easy – they move very fast and it is hard to lock onto them. However I was pretty happy with this.

Red Tailed Black Cockatoos in need of a home

Red Tailed Black Cockatoos in need of a home

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2 responses

  1. Hi Ian, thanks for sharing in our day. I appreciate everyone who came along to capture images and see first hand the work done by the Pattersons, and the beauty of the Helms block. I agree with you, it defies belief that any government would consider logging something that has taken centuries to grow, or to assume the right to “harvest” something that they had no hand in the creation. And yes, the cockatoos were distressed, but if you go there privately with the Pattersons, they don’t flap around at all, as they feel at ease with the people they know. I think it was just a bit confronting for them to have so many people in the enclosures, but I am sure in the “grand scheme” of things, a short while with some wonderful people who are there to help save “their forest” is worth being unsettled.
    Great photo too Ian…. (Wendy Slee)

    October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    • Hi Wendy – it was good to meet you the other day. Thanks for the comment.

      My comment about the cockatoos looking distressed was not intended to mean that they were always like that. It was simply that as photographers we were invited to show why Helms Forest should not be logged. The cockatoos in the image are flying around and having to avoid the cage walls – this results in violent manoeuvres and it is as if they want to go home. However they can’t because their new home will be logged. So I think the image has met the brief for the day.

      (It is actually a stitch of a number of images and this exaggerates the “distressed” look!)

      Ian

      October 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

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