Located next to the hill, the College is surrounded by trees and flowers. Not only are the greeneries soothing for the eyes, they are also home to the College's new joiners.
Chattering blasts from the tree at around 7am as usual, announcing the entrance of a group of pure white-bodied fellows who are ready to either soar or patrol on the ledge as their morning routine.
The yellow crest on the head resembles a string of braided hair, and it sometimes spreads out in a fan shape which looks like a blossoming sunflower on the snowy body. They nest in tree holes, mostly feed on fruits and seeds, and have their own little social groups.
A native of Eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste, the 𝘊𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘱𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘢 (widely known as yellow-crested cockatoo) also exists in Hong Kong. So what are they doing here?
Being a hurdle popular pet back then, some of them escaped or were released. The story of them being released into the wild by the British governor, as Japanese invasion forces approached Hong Kong in 1941, is the most widespread version and is taken as common knowledge. As for the records from bird watchers of cockatoos in Hong Kong, the earliest were in the late 1950s.
They have gradually established their new home in this city, which currently has the largest population of the species apart from their native land.
Their local population is estimated to be about 200, accounting for 10% of the world total - and 6 of them nest in the tree next to our Postgraduate Wing! They invite their friends over from time to time; Ah Kei our security guard even saw 10 of them earlier!
They are labelled as critically endangered on International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, as they face a high risk of extinction. They are also listed as critically endangered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora treaty, an international agreement between governments to protect wild animals and plants specimens’ survival.
It has been lovely knowing these little buddies - thanks for bringing us such familiar squawking calls every day since last year!