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