Hello, today we visit Loro Parque. So, here we are at the Australian cockatoo display or habitat and as you see, there’s quite an array of different fruits and different foliages in here. You can see by white-tailed cockatoo up here on the stump of one of the gum trees eucalypt. We’ve got eucalypt logs all on the bottom here and you might see down here that we’ve got eucalypt or marri nuts or gum seeds – the green ones here. This is actually the staple diet or the diet of these birds from Australia. So, the black cockatoo from Australia isn’t really one that’s gonna be eating seed, it’s one that actually eats and forages for seeds at a Banksia and at a Gravillias and out of various gum trees and things like Casuarina but also what it does is: it strips back the bark and you’ll see in some of these tree trumps here that the animals or the birds are pulling the bark back. What they’re actually looking for – and if you can follow me for a second I’ll show you – are wood-boring grubs or mealworms as well. So, these guys here. Obviously, these are giant mealworms but in Australia, they’ve got the Huhu grubs or of wood-boring grubs which these birds actually eat and this is something that these birds need because it’s very high in protein. So, you hear of Australian farmers complaining about their gum trees getting pulled down or dying. It’s because these birds are stripping the trees’ bark looking for these grubs and it shouldn’t necessarily kill them. Something in Australia that’s quite handy, although it’s as a nuisance, is the fires and the fires need to come through because it helps a lot of the seeds to explode and regeneration of forests. So, you’ll find a lot of these birds will go into areas where fires have been and where’s regeneration and they’ll start eating a lot of the fresh fruits that are growing, fresh foliage that’s growing but they’ll also be looking for these bugs that are also inside of the trees, in the gum trees. So, especially behind ironbark and behind the red bark and this type of thing: the red gum. You’ll see, we’ve got dates here. The dates are obviously not from Australia and the birds are loving it but they’re very high in selenium, cobalt, potassium, magnesium, high in fiber, and also in pectin and natural sugars. So, again, this is really, really good for our birds instead of giving them a sugar diet or giving them some honey, which in most cases is synthetic – trying to get pure honey as hard even though we’re very lucky on the island that we do have that here but these birds obviously relish having a natural diet and this is what we’re giving them. You’ll see that we’ve got cacti growing in here but the birds obviously don’t eat much of it but sometimes when the tops are growing growing the birds will eat it and the prickly pear fruits that are growing here, the birds will break into this and eat the seeds out of it, too. We’ve also got Pinus radiata or the pines here. This is not Pinus radiata but it’s a pine. Again, with the pines, some people argue that pines would be not good for the birds but my reasoning, pine oil is good for the birds. The birds are enjoying breaking the pine cones and it’s enrichment for them. So, this helps them to not be bored during the course of the day and we find a whole lot of support and interest behind this to their breeding. The birds breed a lot better having these natural foods and natural barks and trees and leaves and bugs and little creatures to eat. I’ll carry on with this lime that we have here, the white powder on the floor. A lot of people ask why we have it. Look, it’s agricultural lime, it’s a dead lime, but what it does for one is kill smell but that’s not what we put it here for, we put it, so that it kills any bacterias and any fungus and it’s safe for the birds to forage through. It’s actually safe for them to consume a little bit but it also stops mice. You’ll see mice might bother coming in here and ants and ants can be sometimes a bother because they’ll get inside the nest boxes and they’ll start to get on to the eggs or the young chicks. So, that’s a reason why we have lime. You see here the cockatoos are picking up the gum
nuts, the marri gum nuts, and so they’ll strip these back and inside there’s a little seeds but not only is in there little seeds but there’s also grubs like the mealworms that we have here and these little mealworms or Huhu grubs which we have in Australia but, obviously, we don’t have them here but mealworms are the next best thing. So, these guys do enjoy to eat the mealworms once they get to know that it’s there. Something you’ll notice here on top we have a lot of light coming through and some people say: “Why haven’t you got covers on top?” Well, we have got covers at the back where the birds can get in and hide from the weather, the inclement weather, but these birds love the sun. In Western Australia, you quite often hear these birds going through the skies making a noise. We call them the weather birds because when we see or hear them going through, we know it’s going to rain tomorrow or the next day and the Aborigines use this and for thousands of years, they used these birds to tell them what the weather’s doing also telling them where to harvest and these birds will come in where the seeds growing or natural seeds and also natural bugs because some of the grubs: the Aborigines also eat them as well and quite big grubs that are quite nice to eat. So, that’s a little bit of a talk on the black cockatoos that we have here in Spain from Australia and we’re very lucky to have the full collection here: all species. That’s very nice. As you’ll see walking around the park, you’ll see quite a lot of varieties of chili growing around and chili for us is antibacterial and also antifungal but also very, very good anti-parasitic – naturally – and on the other point birds love it and it’s very, very high in zincs, again, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C mainly. The one good thing for this, the birds love it and it’s very interesting for the people to watch the birds eating these. Maybe they might take a second to come. So, the green marri nuts which is going to be hard to get through the wire but these birds will fight you for it because this is their main diet and they love these marri nuts and they’ll chew them down you’ll see the power and the birds beak with them stripping this nut down. We’re very lucky to have them growing here on the island and this is something especially for the gang gangs and the black cockatoos. I find such a major success in breeding when we have these nuts on offer, the eucalyptus nuts. The other thing really handy but it’s a bit rooted now: in New Zealand we call it puha and here we call it milk thistle and puha and milk thistle are very high in vitamin C. If you’ve got birds that have got a pulpy liver or birds with a liver problem: instead of putting them onto a medication, we put them under this. Believe me or not, it’s like a diarrhetic: it cleans them out but it really helps these birds to overcome pulpy liver. There were a lot of canary breeders they’ll know all about this, about the milk thistle or the puha: very good for scurvy, vitamin C. Captain Cook, when he came into New Zealand, the Maoris fed this to his men and actually stopped them from having scurvy. It’s a wonder plant and I used this for many, many years breeding with birds and it’s additive to the diet as well as dandelions. Dandelion & milk thistle together is a wonderful additive for the birds to eat. The other thing we’ve got growing is ryegrass and there are various rhygrasses that we can grow on the island. Of course, everything’s here all organic. There’s nothing here with pesticides on it but we put it in with the root because the birds can eat the roots, it’s got cobalt and selenium and the root, as also the whole plant, is very high in fiber and also the natural proteins. Here’s your milk thistle. The birds absolutely love the milk thistle. It really helps them a lot. Birds that have got sour crop or any birds that have got some crop problems, I’ll give them on to the milk thistle and I find these problems dissipate very fast. So: prevention, prevention. You don’t need to use medication as much as what you would normally do because you give in these birds natural diets and you can see right away they’re taking the the gum nuts and they’re taking the ryegrass and they’re taking the milk thistle
they’re taking the dates, you know, they’re really enjoying themselves here. These birds, as you can see, are very destructive and they can destroy the nuts very quickly. So, what we do in Australia: when we see you gumtree and then are on the bottom all the gum nuts, all stripped. By the various ways that the gum nuts have been stripped and eaten will tell us whether it’s a yellow tail black or a white tail or a red tail. So, it’ll tell us what birds and how they’ve consumed it or how they’ve eaten it. So, it’s quite a telltale sign. The birds in Australia, as you know, they’re becoming known endangered. So, it’s very nice to have them here at Loro Parque to display to the rest of the world and to educate the visitors, to show them: “Hey, these birds are endangered – even in their own country, in Australia.” Present stage in Australia: major droughts and we got major fires as well. So, it’s nice to, what I call, have an insurance policy because we should breed these birds and every time we can release them back into the wild, back into Australia, if anyone ever needed that. So, it’s a new bloodline, there are nice bloodlines that we’ve got here. It’s very nice to have birds that have come from Australia because they’re not inbred. The bloodlines that we’ve got here, the bloodlines that we’ve got from Australia, we put them together giving us a nice strong bloodline for breeding. So, we’re really, really happy with this and it’s really nice to showcase it and to let people see for education mainly and for conservation obviously. So, it’s really good for us to be able to come here and see how these birds eat and forage and work and understand how they might live in the forest themselves or out there deserts in Australia. It’s quite nice. Write your questions in the comment section below and don’t forget to give this video a thumb up. In order to never miss a new video subscribe to our channel for free.