There are many spectacular and beautiful birds in Africa. The weaver family of birds are among the more colourful and interesting of them. Adelaide Zoo in South Australia – my home zoo – has a small collection of Grenadier Weavers, as shown in today’s photos. The colourful male is a spectacular bird indeed, especially when in breeding plumage which ranges from bright orange through to red.
Of peculiar interest in relation to this species is a closely related species, the Red Bishopbird. This member of the finch family, also native to Africa, is a commonly kept aviary bird. In the 1920s some of these either escaped or were released from captivity not more than 20km from where I live. A small population survived along the banks of the River Murray for some years, and they were even featured in some earlier field guides. This small population has obviously died out as there have been no reports of any birds since the late 1950s.
I must admit that I am not a fan of Lovebirds. I have heard that they can be very aggressive as a cage bird. I am also wary that some will escape from captivity and establish feral populations here in Australia. This has happened with other species over the years and it would mean that they would compete with native species for food and nesting sites.
Despite these feelings, I must admit that the birds shown in my photos today are attractive, so I can understand why some people would want to keep them as pets. These photos were taken through the wire of an aviary in the Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia.
Yellow-collared Lovebirds are native to Tanzania in southern Africa.
Adelaide Zoo has an excellent collection of birds, both Australian and non-Australian birds. In addition to those kept in aviaries, there is a thriving population of local birds which come in to feed in the animal enclosures.
Crested Pigeons are in evidence everywhere and on this occasion I managed a few good shots of some. This is generally very easy for they move quite unafraid amongst the zoo visitors. Those shown on today’s photos were feeding in the Emu enclosure, along with a few Spotted Turtledoves for good measure.
The nocturnal bird called the Tawny Frogmouth is one of my favourite birds. Ever since we saw one in a tree above our tent near Lake Hattah in north west Victoria many years ago, this species has had a special place in our lives.
Being nocturnal, it is not a bird seen all that often. It is more commonly heard calling at night. From time to time we have one in our garden. One has even banged against our sliding glass door whilst catching a moth fluttering there.
Finding them in broad daylight is a challenge. They are usually well camouflaged perched on the limb of a tree, their feathers blending in with the colours and markings of the branch. When smaller birds – such as honeyeaters – become aware of the presence of a frogmouth or an owl for that matter, they set up quite a fuss, drawing attention to the roosting bird.
The bird shown in today’s photos is a captive bird, part of the excellent collection of birds of the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia.
Adelaide Zoo in South Australia is celebrating its 130th birthday today.
This is a wonderful achievement, showing a commitment on the part of South Australians to keep this wonderful establishment going. I should admit here that am a long time Life Member of the Zoo, and visit as much as I can during the year. I am a member because I firmly believe in what the zoo is doing in preserving endangered species. Not only do they have an active breeding programme for such species, there have been a number of recent examples of zoo animals being released into wild populations to boost numbers in the natural environment.
One thing that keeps me returning regularly to visit is the excellent collection of birds. I’ve frequently photographed many of the birds in their collection and featured them here on this site. You can read these articles and see the photos by trolling through my Archives (see link above) or going to the categories on the side bar and clicking on “Adelaide Zoo” or “zoos“.
Meanwhile, below are some bird photos I have taken there recently.