By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A plant expert was left speechless after hilariously mistaking dozens of white cockatoos perched on a fir free for festive decorations.
Cheralyn Darcey got the shock of her life when one of the ‘pretty white bows’ she thought were decorating a Cypress tree flew away and she realised they were actually a flock of corella cockatoos.
The rowdy native birds had perfectly positioned themselves to look like decorations while they feasted on seeds – leading Cheralyn to dub the site ‘the most Australian Christmas tree ever’.
The botanical history author and illustrator, from Sydney, captured the hilarious display in Lake Munmorah on the New South Wales central coast and said the incredible sight was so “uniquely Australian”.
Cheralyn, 44, said: “I saw the tree from a distance and I honestly thought someone had decorated it especially for Christmas.
“I had a bit of a smile and thought that it was quite cute.
“But as I got closer, I noticed that the decorations were moving and then I got such a shock when one just flew off.
“I realised that what I thought were big white bows were actually the wings of the corella birds.
“I just thought, ‘oh my god, are you kidding me’ and burst out laughing.
“I’d never seen them so evenly spaced out on a tree, it was just perfect.
“I just thought how typically Australian is that, Aussie parrots decorating a Christmas tree.”
Corellas are a type of white cockatoo and are an iconic feature of Australian wildlife, with avid birdwatches being able to spot them all over the country.
But the birds are also notorious for being very loud and incredibly rowdy when they flock together in packs, especially at feeding time.
Corellas are also known to ruffle a few feathers with their cheeky and playful behavior, which has made them a loveable part of the Aussie wildlife scene.
Cheralyn added: “Seeing that sight made me so happy – it was such a wonderful moment.
“I’ll never forget it.”