Archive for March, 2011

Flamingos, Adelaide Zoo

Chilean Flamingo, Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo has only two flamingos, a Chilean Flamingo and a Greater Flamingo. They occupy the flamingo grotto built in in 1885, a specially made quiet corner of the zoo. Only a low fence separates them from the admiring public. They usually make excellent photo opportunities as they feed in their small pond.

You can read further information about these birds from the Adelaide Zoo website, including details of distribution, diet and other interesting facts. The pages include short videos of the birds:

Greater Flamingo, Adelaide Zoo

Crested Pigeon close up

Crested Pigeon

We love having the Crested Pigeons in our garden and on our two hectare (5 acre) block. They are a resident breeding species here and we see them every day. I’ve never really done a census count on how many there are around here, but we always seem to have at least a a half dozen or more.  On a few occasions I have counted up to about 40 perching on the power lines running along the road side.

Crested Pigeons make a flimsy nest of a few sticks and it always surprises me how the eggs can possibly stay in the nest. An even greater mystery is how the chicks remain in the nest. They must be able to cope because they are very successful birds, breeding frequently.

Our local resident pigeons regularly visit our bird baths. This gives me many opportunities to do photographic studies of this species. Yesterday the bird in this set of photos posed nicely for me, first in the shade (see below) and then closer to me in the sunlight.

Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon

Cape Barren Goose, Adelaide Zoo

Cape Barren Goose, Adelaide Zoo

The Cape Barren Goose breeds on islands in Bass Strait Tasmania, as well as some islands in South Australia and Western Australia. In spring and summer large flocks disperse onto the mainland where they feed on grasslands and irrigated pastures.

While the total population is possibly no more than ten thousand, they can be locally present in large loose flocks. For example, about a twenty minute drive south of where I live I have seen a flock of about 500 feeding in one irrigated paddock. Only a few days ago I saw about 50 in the same area.

The bird shown in the photo above is of a captive bird at the Adelaide Zoo.

Noisy Grey Currawongs

Grey Currawong

Grey Currawongs are common and widespread in the area where I live in South Australia.  Until the last few years, however, they only occasionally visited our garden and the mallee scrub near our home. Their visits have become very regular of late and on a few occasions they have been feeding semi-independent young., often accompanied by raucous begging from the young.

They usually do not hang around too long and only pass through our 5 acre property in a few minutes. Over the last few hours today, however, their calling has been very persistent and loud. Not sure what all the fuss is about, but it has been going on few some hours. I can’t really work out why they are hanging around for so long.

Mind you, it is generally a pleasant sound but could get annoying if it went on all day.

Further reading

Dusky Moorhen and chick, Adelaide Zoo

Dusky Moorhen

One of our common water birds here in Australia is the Dusky Moorhen, shown in the photos on this post. This species is found throughout eastern and southern Australia, as well as south western Australia. The birds shown in these photos were swimming in one of the ponds in Adelaide Zoo. They were not captive birds but free flying birds who found that the environment within the zoo boundaries to be quite suitable for living – and breeding.

I was quite pleased with the photo above as it shows the interplay of light and shadows on the water, the ripples accentuating the effects of the light.

Dusky Moorhen and chick