UPDATE: "Debbie," the cockatoo who went viral after the Townsville Bulletin photographed her cowering in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, has made it through the night.

Townsville Bulletin journalist John Andersen this morning said that Debbie had been causing quite a stir in his motel room at Airlie Beach as she awaits professional help from Whitsunday wildlife carers.

She has dried out following her soaking and has emerged from the towel which Townsville Bulletin photographer Alix Sweeney wrapped her in after taking her photo in downed palm fronds during Cyclone Debbie.

"Debbie" the Airlie Beach cyclone cockatoo pictured in Ando's motel room the morning after. News Corp Australia

YESTERDAY: A COCKATOO, stripped of its feathers and cowering among broken branches and leaves shows the power of Cyclone Debbie's fury.

Battered and broken, a cockatoo, stripped of feathers stands among the snapped branches in Airlie during Cyclone Debbie. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Battered and broken, a cockatoo, stripped of feathers stands among the snapped branches in Airlie during Cyclone Debbie. Picture: Alix Sweeney

The heartbreaking photo was captured by Townsville Bulletin photographer Alix Sweeney as the eye of Tropical Cyclone Debbie passed over Airlie Beach.

The cockatoo wrapped in a towel during the wait for help to arrive for the injured bird.
The cockatoo wrapped in a towel during the wait for help to arrive for the injured bird.

She said she ducked out during a quick break in the weather to photograph the broken and battered bird.

"The owner of the motel we're staying in said there was a cockatoo at the end of the road," Ms Sweeney said.

Photographer Alix Sweeney with the cockatoo as she waits for help to arrive.
Photographer Alix Sweeney with the cockatoo as she waits for help to arrive.

"I spotted something white among all the greenery. You couldn't miss it.

"There was a whole group of cockatoos sitting way up in the trees just clinging on during the gale-force winds."

After taking the cockatoo's photo, Ms Sweeney collected the bird and is waiting for it to be picked up by a wildlife carer.

News Corp Australia


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