Apostlebirds by the dozen

Apostlebirds, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Apostlebirds, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Apostlebirds are not all that common in South Australia. In fact, they are confined to a few locations in the mid-north of the state plus one site I know of near the eastern border south of Renmark. In parts of New South Wales, however, they are widespread and common in many places. They are also very confiding birds and will happily share their little patch of bushland – if you share some of your morning or afternoon tea.

On our recent visit to the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo I was surprised at just how common they actually are, but then there is plenty of food for the taking, both in the animal enclosures and in the picnic areas where human food scraps are in abundance. It is not surprising then that I was able to get at least several good photos during our visit.

Apostlebirds are not the most photogenic birds found in Australia, being only dull grey with some black patches. What they lack in colour they certainly make up for with their gregarious nature. Because of this nature they certainly are one of my favourites and I always look out for them wherever we travel.

Apostlebird, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Apostlebird, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Apostlebird, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Apostlebird, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo


3 Responses to “Apostlebirds by the dozen”

  1. sharyn jones says:

    We used to have a wonderful variety of birds in our garden – until the apostle birds moved in. They are very aggressive and attack and have chased off many of the other birds. They also attack me and swoop and peck at my head when I am feeding my chooks. No they do not have a nest anywhere near the chook yard – it is out in the open. They are after any scraps I might have.
    They regularly knock other birds’ babies out of the nests. Add to this the fact that they constantly foul the water in the bird baths – and won’t let other birds access them anyway – and I am sorry but I HATE these birds!!! I have heard others comment on the same things and an old man came to visit and said “Oh you have those bikie birds too”. He explained the nick name by saying they were violent thugs that hung around in groups. So it’s not just me that has noticed their behaviour.

    • Trevor says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with this species, Sharyn. I now have a different appreciation of this species. Because they are quite rare here in South Australia we do not yet have the problems you describe, but can fully understand your frustrations.

      While camping at Lake Hattah (south of Mildura, Victoria) back in the 1990s we were amused how they would jump up on the table and start eating food from our plates if we didn’t keep a sharp lookout. I never realised that they could not only be cheeky but downright bullies.

      My sister-in-law is the cook at Peterborough Hospital in mid-north of South Australia and the family of Apostlebirds living in the garden will often come right into the rooms of patients when the doors are open on to the veranda.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. […] picnic table trying to have a share in our food. The photo above shows several birds I saw in the Western Plains Zoo car park in Dubbo, NSW, just a short distance from where several picnicking groups had […]

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