1000’s of Cockatoos Take Over Australian City

The New South Wales resort of Nowra was recently occupied by thousands of corellas, a subgenus of white cockatoos, making it look like the set of an Alfred Hitchcock film.

Photos and videos of white birds gathered on the streets of Nowra have been circulating online for about a week. The corels hang on lampposts, converge on the lawns and roofs of people, digging through their garbage in search of food and making a hell of a riot. It’s definitely not something you watch every day, but while media around the world have described the footage as something insane, the events that were recently caught on camera on Jindalee Crescent Street are far reaching for the people of Nowra spread. The people here have shared town with Corellas for years, and while many of them hate the birds, there isn’t much they can do about it.

Photo: justsheff33 / TikTok

“They are said to be a pest and they destroy the trees a lot,” a Nowra woman told the Sidney Morning Herald. “I always sweep away feathers.”

The loud screeching and droppings they leave everywhere don’t win the Corellas over to human fans either, but they don’t seem to care, and being a protected species, disgruntled locals have very few options with the birds to deal with.

Photo: justsheff33 / TikTok

When driving or walking around Nowra, it’s not uncommon to see swarms of Corellas on power lines, parked cars, and billboards. Nor are they shy of rolling on people’s lawns, looking for food in their rubbish, or sliding onto their roofs for fun. And every now and then they will carry out a massive “invasion” like the one recently caught on camera.

Corellas’ acquisition of Nowra has been a long time coming. In fact, experts have been warning against it for years. You see these birds aren’t stupid, some claim they have the intellect of the average two year old so they quickly figured out that moving into a cozy, man-made animal out of the semi-arid New South Wales wilderness was a smart thing to do to do. They weren’t seen in urban areas before the 1950s and now they’re everywhere.

“We’ve created the perfect habitat for small corels and they’re taking up the offer,” University of South Australia scientists wrote in a 2018 report, adding that urban planning is the biggest problem. Nowra’s wide lawns, surrounded by tall trees and an easily accessible water source, are the perfect habitat for the white cockatoos.

According to 9News, large swarms of Corellas gather on the streets of Nowra every day. So it’s safe to say that the locals’ problems with birds are getting worse and there is very little they can do about it.


Apparently, corels have become a nuisance even in larger urban centers like Melbourne and Adelaide. Still, it’s much better than having giant flying foxes invading your city, I think …

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