White-browed Babblers are a resident breeding species in our garden. Hardly a day goes by without them coming quite close to the house and scratching around in the mulch or leaf litter under the trees. At other times they hop all over nearby trees, searching under the bark for ants, beetles and spiders.
Usually they come in a family group of between five and eight, sometimes more. they move through the garden in a loose flock, constantly calling to keep in contact with each other. They are quick movers, hopping quickly through the foliage, along the ground, across branches or wherever they are feeding at the moment. If one looses close contact with the rest it with fly low and fast to make contact with the group again.
Because they are always on the move I have had a challenge getting good photos of them. On this post I have two reasonable photos but they are still not great. I guess I’ll just have to keep on trying.
Crested Pigeon in a bird bath
I’m not sure if I’ve shown these photos before. Never mind if I have. I was sorting through a few photos taken a few months ago and came across these of a Crested Pigeon IN our bird bath. It wasn’t content to sit on the edge of the bowl – it had to actually get into it and sit in the water.
When I checked a few minutes later I discovered that there wasn’t much water there anyway, so the bird was probably giving me a hint: “Fill ‘er up, mate!”
So I did.
Eclectus Parrots, Adelaide Zoo
The Eclectus Parrot of northern Cape York Peninsula in Queensland would have to be one of our most amazing birds here in Australia. Not only are they strikingly colourful as shown in the photos on this post, they are also rather unusual in the bird kingdom. The female is far more colourful than the male.
This species of bird I have yet to see in their natural environment. All the birds I have seen have been in aviaries or zoos. The photos on this page were taken in the walk through aviary at the Adelaide Zoo. In this aviary they are quite tame and therefore easy to photograph. I dare say that it will be a lot more challenging to get a good photo of one in the wild.
This species is also kept extensively in captivity, but it takes a very deep pocket to buy a breeding pair.
Cape Barren Goose, Adelaide Zoo
The Cape Barren Goose is locally abundant in its range but it has quite a limited range. Total numbers of this species would have to be about 10,000 so, although not endangered, it could be regarded as vulnerable.
This goose is found in coastal areas of South Australia, Victoria and in Tasmania. It breeds on the islands of Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania. There is an isolated population at Esperance in Western Australia.
During spring and summer it disperses to the mainland to feed on cultivated pastures, near wetlands and in grasslands. About a twenty minute drive south of where I live there are several large dairies. These have irrigated pastures (mainly clover and lucerne) which attract this species in large numbers. I’ve counted over 500 on several occasions.
The photo below was taken of a captive bird at the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
This article was updated in August 2015.
Black-winged Stilt, Adelaide Zoo
One of the benefits of visiting zoos like the Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia is to observe many bird species up close. Most zoos have collections of birds and Adelaide Zoo is no exception. There is a large collection of easily viewed aviaries decorated to reflect the different habitats present in Australia – from the deserts through to rainforests. In most cases the observer can get to within a metre or two of the birds which helps in learning the finer details of plumage.
The zoo also has two walk through aviaries where you can get even closer to the birds. These are also excellent for bird photography. One of the species I photographed on my last visit was the Black-winged Stilt shown on the photos above and below. This was a challenge – even with a flash on my camera. It was lurking in the pools of the rainforest aviary.
Black-winged stilts are water birds found throughout most of Australia where suitable habitat exists, except, of course, for the drier inland regions. They can occur in small groups of only four or five through to large concentrations in the hundreds, depending on the conditions.
- Zoo Chat Forums – my son’s site discussing nearly 1000 zoos from around the world. Numerous photos too.
- Favourite birding spot – St Kilda
- Water birds at Monarto Zoo