Besides being one of my favourite songs by The Cure, Birdmad Girl is something I consider myself to be. Specifically, I’m mad about galahs.


This little guy goes by the very unimaginative name of Cocky. I inherited him from my grandfather, hence the name. I’m not sure how old he is except he must be at least 40. He often hangs out with me when I’m writing.

Unlike many pet galahs, he doesn’t talk. I’ve had galahs that could almost hold a conversation (as long as you stuck to ‘who’s a pretty boy’ and ‘whatcha doing?’), one that liked commentating on backyard cricket (mostly with, ‘you’re out!’), and another that would insult you in all sorts of colourful ways (yeah, thanks for that, Dad).

When Cocky first came to live with me, we would just whistle at each other a lot. Then one night, I heard a dog barking outside. Not owning a dog, I went to see what was going on and guess who was barking at the top of his little lungs? Turns out that not only can Cocky bark really well, he also likes to set the neighbourhood dogs off. He even waits for them to go quiet before starting up again.

I’ve been trying to film him in action but he always stops as soon as I get my phone out. So this is a photo of him sitting in my kitchen instead.

Featured image by Jim Bendon from Karratha, Australia.


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