Australia’s longest lived parrot dies

On this day …….. 1st September 1936

Cocky Bennett the sulphur-crested cockatoo died in Sydney in 1916 aged 120 — possibly making him Australia’s longest lived parrot (although his precise age varies from source to source). The legendarily raucous bird spent the first 78 years of his life sailing the South Sea Islands with his owner Captain George Ellis (who acquired the bird when he was a boy). After Ellis died in the late 1880s aged 87, Cocky wound up at the Sea Breeze Hotel at Tom Ugly’s Point, where he became a star attraction — despite having lost all his feathers by the turn of the century. (His freakish beak was caused by psittacine beak and feather disease.) Cheeky locals were known to ply the “Cock of the Bar” with “strong brew”, making him launch into his noisy catchphrases. They included “One at a time, gentlemen, please” and “If I had another bloody feather I’d fly!”