I have written before about how clever crows and ravens can be. This is a well established fact and people around the world have witnessed how intelligent the corvid family can be. In fact, if you do a search for videos of these birds using tools you will find many hundreds of them; I have provided a link below.
Earlier this week I witnessed first hand one of the Little Ravens in our garden actually using a tool to assist in finding food. It had picked up what looked like a flat rock and was progressively using it to prise bark off the trunk of a mallee tree near the house. Once the bark was lifted it dropped the stone and used its beak to grab whatever was hiding beneath the bark.
Spiders, beetles and a whole range of small creatures routinely live under the bark of the local trees. Several times the bird flew down to the ground to retrieve the stone in order to use it again for the same purpose. After about three or four little snacks it flew off, stone in its beak to another tree, this time out of sight.
Of course, I didn’t have my camera handy at the time. [Sigh]
While we were driving through the Australian Botanic Gardens Mt Annan just before Christmas last year, we came across a small flock of Red-rumped Parrots feeding on the roadside grass. As far as I can remember, I haven’t observed this species in the Sydney region before. All that means is that I haven’t been looking in the right places and haven’t been out birding enough in Sydney. Perhaps I play with the grandchildren too much every time we go there to visit. No – never!
In this small flock I managed to get photos of a male (above) and a female (below). The male is showing the red rump (hence its name) and the female is plainer in colours.