Note to self: cockatoos love sunflowers


My mammoth sunflowers took around 2 and a half months before opening its flower heads, but we only got to enjoy this for a little more than a week. One morning, we heard wild cockatoos squawking and congregating near our tomato beds, so I went to investigate.

What I saw was quite heartbreaking…


There was still one flowerhead left, and I saved some seeds before letting them get back to devouring the rest of the flowerhead. They waited for me to be at a comfortable distance before flying back to continue their feed.



I’m not sure if the seeds are mature enough for planting, but I will have to test them out.

One final look as I walked away…


After some online research, I found out that this is a common occurrence and cockatoos love sunflower seeds, but as it is high in fat, they shouldn’t have too much. It was also advised that I net the flowers or bag the heads if I wish to save its seeds. I’ve since planted a few more and I will have to do that next time.

The loss of my sunflowers bothered me for a few days, as it provided me with so much joy as I worked in the garden, but it was a reminder that things like that happen and we can’t control nature. I just had to tell myself that I can always grow more, and I will do better next time… plus it’s a good thing that others were able to enjoy the sunflowers too.

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  • Kate January 17, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    If it is any comfort, I found your page because I was looking for info on our new sunflowers … self-seeded BY the local cockatoos.

    • Olivia January 30, 2022 at 12:53 am

      That’s hilarious, thanks for sharing that. I hope you’ll have some stunning sunflowers this season!

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