The Night Parrot Lives

The Night Parrot Lives!

The Night Parrot has been found after 100 years!

Until 1979 “No living ornithologist has reported seeing the night parrot in the wild” accordingly there was virtually no hope that a Night Parrot would ever be seen again. There were no sightings from 1912 to 1979. From 1979 there were a few sightings including the discovery of a dead bird in 1990.

Then in 2013, John Young discovered birds likely to be Night Parrots. He used sound recording taken at night to assist him to find sites to investigate.

Finally, now in 2015 it has been publicly confirmed the night parrot lives.

Queensland and the world celebrated a small colony having been found living in grassland in remote western Queensland. The land has been secured to protect the birds from feral dogs and cats. Scientists are at work to learn and do everything they can to protect and increase the population of this species.

night parrot

You can get more information on the net

Extinct Night Parrot?

This is a tribute to the resilience of life.

The story of the Night Parrot is amazing and thrilling. This tough little parrot has survived for so long despite the threats to its survival. The Night Parrot has remained undiscovered despite all the professionals and bird watchers searching for them.

Perhaps another species presumed extinct will be found.

EXTINCT is such a terrible and final outcome. In my life time 4 amphibians, 1 reptile and 2 invertebrates have become extinct in Australia and 1 presumed extinct bird has been found to survive.

This story gives me such hope that the Paradise Parrot and the Tasmania Tiger survival instincts have them hunkered down in a small survival number as remote as they can take themselves.

Tell me more about the NIGHT PARROT:

The Aboriginal name is Myrrlumbing after one of its calls. The Night Parrot is also called the Spinifex Parrot because of where it lives and the Night Parakeet because it is nocturnal.

The Night Parrot is most similar to the Swamp Parrot/Ground Parrot but they live in different habitats. The Night Parrot lives in the arid and semi-arid zones preferring saltbush and spinifex cover. These birds are Ground Dwellers which makes them highly vulnerable to threat from feral cats, foxes and dogs. Flight is low for short distance. The bird prefers to run for cover. This parrot prefers green food and has a harsh voice. It builds a crude nest under spinifex.

These birds are thick-set with short tails. They have green-yellow streaked plumage and yellow underbellies.

Until 2013-2015 only two first hand accounts of this bird was published. Some information has been reported in 1868, 1870 and 1883. That is all we had until now!

research-nightparrot

Tips on How to help declining and endangered species?

1 familiarize yourself with the species and its habit
2 observe carefully every chance you get
3 take a note of exactly where you are and what you see and find
4 report anything you might see to this website and to the National Parks and Wildlife authority for the State you are in.

If you have any wildlife conservation issues that concern you please let us know.

Amanda Jackson

Reflection of The Persecuted King

Reflection of “The Persecuted King”

 

This painting by Kerrie Thomsen speaks to the majesty of the Wedge Tail Eagle.

Wedgie
Painting – The Persecuted King by Kerrie Thomsen

The eagle is an apex predator. This bird appears aloof and stern. These birds have knowledge, they seem to know all – they have strong eyesight and spend a long time riding thermals watching what is going on below. They spend up to 90 minutes in the air at a time and rise as high as 2000 meters.

Then, when it is time to eat the Wedge Tail Eagle is a killing machine, fast and effective.

The Wedge-tailed Eagle is truly an animal of Australia being found throughout the country. This is Australia’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan of approximately 2.4 meters.

Australian Eagles have found lambs a preferable food source and as a result are not favorites with farmers, perhaps this is why the artist titles this painting “The Persecuted King”

I am aware an injured eagle stayed in the back yard for 2 weeks as well as tree cover very near Kerrie’s home in rural Victoria while it recovered from injuries. The hand feeding that her husband did restored the young birds strength. I believe observation of this eagle during his recovery inspired her works.

The supremacy of the eagle is conveyed by its size and position within the work. I really enjoy the treatment of the landscape. This is a style featured regularly in Kerrie’s works. The colour schemes used are unique. I describe Kerrie’s style as modern aboriginal painting or art. Traditional elements are present in subject matter and technique, for example dot painting techniques are present. However modern elements are also present in style, composition and colour.

If you wish to see more paintings by Kerrie Thomsen go to Indigenous Artist

Please comment and tell me what you think

Amanda

Echidna – a one of a kind animal of Australia

Echidna – a one of a kind animal of Australia

Australia has two species of monotremes (egg laying mammals) the platypus and echidna. There are no other species like them.

It is unusual to see an echidna in the daytime because by habit they are active at night.

On the move
On the move
Echidna active at night
Echidna active at night

Echidnas are 30 -45 cm in size and weigh 2 to 7 kilograms.

The spines are coarse and used to protect the echidna. The male has a spurs but no venom. Echidna are very powerful diggers and will dig into the ground or wedge into a hollow when threatened. So I think you can see now why I call the Echidna a one of a kind of animal.

Several males will follow one female this is called a ‘train’. The female echidna lays one egg which she then incubates in her pouch for 10 days. The young suckle from a teat in her pouch. The echidna has a burrow and when the young are too big for the pouch they will live in the burrow and continue to suckle until they reach 12 weeks of age. Echidna are one the most unusual and wonderful animals of Australia.

Post and Photos by Amanda Jackson

Tachyglossus aculeatus
Tachyglossus aculeatus

‘Old Man’ Emu

Australian Story tellers like to refer to Emu as Old Man Emu!

Something about the emu does seem old and wise. Emu’s are large standing birds up to 2 meters and with feathers that are brown and droop down they blend well into the grassland.

"Old Man" Emu
“Old Man” Emu

Emu’s habitat covers much of the Australian continent. Emus make a distinctive deep drumming sound. The male cares for the nest and hatchlings which stay with him for some time. Hatchlings have dark brown to black body stripes. As the hatchings grow these markings fade into the same colouring as their parents as you can see in the photo below.

Emu with large chicks
Emu with large chicks

This male bird was trying to conceal himself from me in an old bush (see the picture below). A Male has blue colouring from side of head down the neck. Female’s head are black. Both of the emus in my pictures are male. Click on the picture and it will enlarge so you can see more detail and the blue marking.

Emu looking for cover
Emu looking for cover

Emus may be solitary in a small group or a large flock. One day I hope to seeing a flock of these birds running.

 

By Amanda Jackson

Western Grey Kangaroo

The Kangaroo is an iconic animal of Australia

The photos in this post are of the Western Grey Kangaroo.

Western Grey Kangaroo
Western Grey Kangaroo

The Western Grey Kangaroo is more brown than the Eastern Grey Kangaroo which as the name suggests is grey. These kangaroo are large with paler undersides.

Their habitat range matches their name.

This species rest in the shade during the day. They eat grasses and graze from early evening through to morning hence we see them mostly at dusk each day.

This species of Kangaroo have exceptionally strong hind legs and move by a unique hopping style. Their long strong tails are essential for movement.

They live in groups and the dominant male is called a Buck whilst Juveniles are called Joeys!

living in a family group
living in a family group

 

The females give birth to an embryo which looks like a red jellybean. This is the same for other marsupials. The embryo travels through the mother’s fur to the pouch where it latches onto a teat. The embryo develops into a Joey and lives in the pouch for 11 months.

Even though the Joey is then too big for the pouch it will continue to suckle for another 9 months.

Kangaroo’s survive and thrive because they exhibit a number of fertility adaptations for living in a harsh environment (e.g. drought and predators) in order to maximize reproductive success. These adaptations include the ability to develop another embryo in their reproductive system while there is a Joey in the pouch; and suspend the development or birth of the embryo until living conditions are better.

I hope you enjoyed this article and couple of photos on our Iconic “Western Grey Kangaroo”

Amanda

500-support

What type of Bird am I ?

What type of Bird am I?

These photographs were taken on the barge ride between River Heads (the mainland) and K’Gari (Fraser Island) in Queensland, Australia. This barge ride take about an hour.

Fraser Island vehicle barges and passenger ferry services run daily from River Heads, south of Hervey Bay to World Heritage-listed K’Gari (Fraser Island).

 

What type of Tern am I?

I am a Tern! So what type of Tern am I?

 

Tern
Tern

The two pieced tail – these are called ‘tail streamers’

It is difficult to identify the species of tern without being able to see the back view or all of their features like leg colour. These bird were flying the entire time I was observing them.

Terns that are are regularly recorded in this locality where these birds were sighted include the Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Roseate Tern, White-fronted tern and Black-naped Tern.

However the birds we sighted had an orange/yellow bill and all the previously listed species have a black bill.

The Fairy Tern is not usually found in Wide Bay Queensland. This bird is distinguished from similar birds by its rounded belly, orange yellow bill, a white forehead in early breeding with the speckled black head marking not reaching the bill. These features match the birds sighted. This species breeds August to January. This specimen was sighted in late July so early breeding markings would be developing at that time

The Lesser-crested Tern is also called the tern of the tropics. It was believed to range north (or above) the Tropic of Capricorn. However it is now accepted in bird field guildes that there habitat extends further south to the area these birds were seen and further south to Brisbane. The features of the Lesser Crested Tern matches the birds seen particularly the speckled crown if the birds were non-breeding. Their head markings differ when breeding. The Lesser-crested Tern breeds September to December in the east and south of its range where there specimens were sighted. In late July Lesser-crested Terns at that location would have non-breeding plumage.

Therefore the identification can only be decided by leg colour.The Fairy tern has yellow legs and the Lesser-crested Tern has black legs. Unfortunately the legs cannot be seen. So I went back to the photos to see if there was a clear leg shot anywhere …..

THEY ARE BLACK LEGS
THERE THEY ARE – BLACK LEGS!

I cannot wait to visit that area again in the hope of seeing these birds again.

Cheers Amanda

Head markings are important for identification
Lesser Crested Tern: Head markings are important for identification.

Red Winged Parrot

Red Winged Parrot

Just a few short weeks ago I caught this male red-winged parrot on camera near Roma Queensland. I had not seen this bird before!

A brilliant coloured bird

The males have a brilliant light greed head, neck and underparts and bottle green back, wings and tail. Can you see his orange bill?

Male Red-Winged Parrot
Male Red-Winged Parrot (front view)

The males also have a deep blue lower back and rump as well as a large scarlet shoulder patch.

A beautifully coloured bird
A beautifully coloured bird

Females and juvenile Red-Winged Parrots are a uniform mid-green colour with a dash of colour shown via a small scarlet shoulder patch.

Habitat

These birds live in the sub-tropical northern regions of Australia and also the semi-arid regions of Queensland and New South Wales.

I spotted this bird in a semi-arid region of Queensland.

Flight

These birds have a strong, fast and rocking style of flight. He was certainly hard to photograph in flight – here is my best shot.

Male Red-Winged Parrot in flight
Male Red-Winged Parrot in flight

I would love to hear what you think of this parrot or your own favourite Parrot.

best wishes

Amanda

Pelicans in Australia

Pelicans in Australia

Australia is a huge continent but there is one species of Pelican which ranges the entire continent. Pelicans visit the salt lakes of central Australia when they have water and will be seen in large numbers when inland river systems are flooding. Even when there is little water a few pelican remain.

Pelican at an inland creek system near the town of Chinchilla
Pelican at an inland creek system near the town of Chinchilla
Pelican at coastal fresh water
Pelican at coastal fresh water

Notice the birds’ large pink bill and throat pouch. The pelican are excellent at fishing. Pelican’s legs and feet are grey.

Pelican fishing in the ocean
Pelican fishing in the ocean

Pelicans breed in colonies which are wide spread some are permanent and some arise by opportunity.

Pelican in flight
Pelican in flight

Several years ago we travelled to Lake Eyre in central Australia to see the water filling the salt lake and the pelican colony and other birds pouring in. Such an event is a once in a lifetime occurrence. If anyone knows how the birds know the weather conditions thousands of kilometres away and how to get to a place they have never been please let me know.

I hope you enjoyed the photos

Amanda