Who has lost a canary?
We’d just finished lunch a while ago and were sitting on our back veranda enjoying a cuppa. The barbecue I’d coked had been delicious and the weather was fine. I was absorbed in a novel I’m reading when my wife suddenly drew my attention to a canary on the ground about three metres away.
I quietly went inside to get my camera and it stayed long enough for me to take about a dozen photos. The best ones are shown here. It has obviously escaped from someone’s aviary; they are certainly not native to Australia. Two or our nearest neighbours keep canaries so it may well have escaped from their aviaries. It was very tame, allowing me to approach to within a metre or two, but wary enough to keep out of reach. Catching it poses a few problems.
Sadly, such a brightly coloured bird could easily become easy prey for the local Brown Falcons, Collared Sparrowhawks and others.
Whenever I go out birding, I delight in seeing spoonbills. My favourite would have to be the Yellow-billed Spoonbill, but I also enjoy seeing the Royal Spoonbill. We only have the two species of spoonbills here in Australia.
Sometimes in the natural environment it is not easy to get up very close to the birds like I’ve managed in this series of photos. On this occasion I was photographing a captive bird in a walk-through aviary at the Adelaide Zoo.
The Royal Spoonbill is found throughout Australia where there is suitable habitat, except for the drier areas of South and Western Australia. You may notice in the photos on this post that the bird has a rather prominent plume of feathers coming from its head, prominent yellow marks above the eyes and a small red mark on the forehead. All these indicate breeding plumage; there was a nest in a tree planted in the aviary.
I must say that I’m struck by the yellow mark over the eyes; it gives the bird something of an evil look!
Australia has many beautiful parrots. One of the more intriguing – and beautiful – would have to be the Eclectus Parrot, shown in the photos on this post. This is a species I have yet to see in the natural environment which is not surprising seeing it is found in remote locations in far north Queensland, a state I am yet to visit.
The beautiful plumage on this large parrot is interesting because the male (shown above) is not as outstanding as the female (see below). This is unusual in the bird kingdom because most male birds are more colourful than females, but only where there is dimorphism. This means that the male and female plumage is different. Of course, many species display no dimorphism; male and female are identical.
Forget about the scientific explanations: I think the male looks rather neat in green. They both look stunning with such pure and startling colours.
I must attempt to get to northern Queensland soon as see them “at home.”
- Parrots -more articles from the archives of this site
- Eclectus Parrots at Adelaide Zoo
The beautiful Pied Imperial-pigeon is found in the mangroves, rainforests and woodlands of coastal northern Australia. I haven’t been birding in that part of Australia yet, so I was pleased to get these good photos of the species in one of the walk-through aviaries at Adelaide Zoo recently.
These pigeons are commuters. They nest and roost on the islands of northern Australia and daily commute to the mainland to feed on fruit in the rainforests and mangroves. They nest in the mangrove trees of the islands. They are also present in PNG and Indonesia. Many populations of these pigeons are also migratory, moving between Australia, PNG and Indonesia.
- Adelaide zoo website
- Pigeons and doves – archived articles about pigeons and doves
- Pizzey, G, The field guide to the birds of Australia.
The White-headed Pigeon is found along coastal Queensland and New South Wales in tropical and sub-tropical rainforests and scrubland. I know very little about this species because I’ve never seen it in its natural environment. One day I’ll make it to Queensland and see it.
In the meantime, I have to be satisfied with these photos taken in the walk-through aviary at Adelaide Zoo. It’s certainly a beautiful bird.