From time to time I read about strange, usual and downright funny behaviour exhibited by birds. A recent posting on the Birding-Aus forum related this rather bizarre behaviour:
I work at Monash University in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and have recently seen some bizarre behaviour from a Magpie-lark near work. After you get off the Monash freeway at Forster Road there are traffic lights as you wait to turn into Forster Road.
For the last 6-9 months there has been a Magpie-lark spending a lot of time at this intersection and it will continuously fly between the two cars at the front of the line (while they are stopped) pecking and attacking reflections in the windows, roof and mirrors. It only ever seems to attack the front cars in the line.
More interestingly recently it appears to have learnt to car surf; as the cars start and go around the corner it will stay on the roof for a while and then (purposefully?) slide down the windscreen of the car as it gets faster round the corner. As the car gets up to around 20-30 km/hr it will then open up its wings and fly/get blown over the top of the car and back to where it can attack the next set of cars. This behaviour appears to be all about having fun rather than attacking any possible reflected intruder.
My thanks to John for permission to use his comments.
Some time ago I ran a series of twenty birding bloopers. These relate to birders mis-identifying their sightings. They are well worth a read.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
More bird photos can be seen in my photo gallery.
Over recent months we have had several visits from Rufous Whistlers in our garden. The most frequent of these has been a juvenile male. In the photo above one can see the streaking on the front indicating a young bird. The next photo shows the back of a juvenile with more definite marking. This could well be the same bird because the photo was taken a few weeks later.
The third photo (below) shows the young bird developing more definite markings and colours on the front. The rufous belly and breast-feathers are starting to take on the colour of a mature bird. Interestingly, at the same time I also managed to get a great backside shot of a Spotted Pardalote drinking from the bird bath.
In the final shot we see a side on view of the bird. The black throat band is particularly prominent.
Click on any photo to enlarge the image.
Yesterday afternoon I was taking the washing off the clothesline before the next shower of rain came along. Hanging the washing on the line, or taking it off the line are excellent birding times. They force one to look skyward.
This time I was not disappointed. A small flock of four Rainbow Lorikeets flew high overhead. This is always a lovely species to see, with all those bright rainbow colours on their feathers. This species is widespread throughout the district around Murray Bridge without being in the large numbers one can observe in the Adelaide Hills or other parts of the Mt Lofty Ranges.
Rainbow Lorikeets are only occasional visitors to our garden. We more often have the smaller Purple Crowned Lorikeet.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
- Close views of Musk Lorikeets – seen at Victor Harbor
- Great birding moments – Budgerigars
- Great birding moments – Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
- Eastern Rosella – seen in the Wittunga Botanic Gardens
This post was updated on 1st March 2017.
Readers who have come to this birding blog in recent days or weeks (welcome to you all) may have missed some of my earlier articles. Of course, dedicated readers will always go to the archives, or the categories or the contents section on the sidebar. This blog now has well over 1600 articles about birds, and I am adding new posts nearly every day – sometimes several times in the one day. If you do not want to miss anything, remember to subscribe to the RSS feeds (also on the sidebar).
Here are some early articles you may have missed. Click on the title to read the article:
- About me, birding and other stuff – how it all started.
- Short stay in Victor Harbor – birding on the south coast of South Australia.
- Stunning photos – about my camera and a link to a great photography site.
- Birds of the Adelaide Zoo – walk through aviaries give the photographer a great opportunity to hone those skills.
- Birds of the Monarto Zoological Park, Murray Bridge – this zoo is a ten minute drive from our home.
- Spotted Pardalotes – these delightful little birds are a breeding species in our garden.
- Mallee Ringnecks – these beautiful parrots are regular visitors to our garden.
This article was updated in July 2015.