Clumping in the bird world

These birds are White-breasted Woodswallows clumping in the winter sun on a branch on the banks of Bungeworgorai Creek Queensland, Australia.

IMG_5966 (2)

Clumping is the animal behaviourists’ term for cuddling behaviour in birds. These guys are really packed in together. The white chests show on the birds to the left and the white rumps on the rest. Bird watchers say these white features gleam in the sun.

See how bright their blue beaks are. Their beaks are tipped with black. Darker feathers around their eyes make them stand out. These birds are widespread in eastern Australia.

By Amanda Jackson

The Beautiful Australian White Ibis

The beautiful Australian White Ibis is also known as the “Sacred Ibis” and the “Dump Chook.”

The sacred ibis
With the majesty and peacefulness of the Australian White Ibis flying against that perfect sky it is no wonder it is known as the Sacred Ibis.

Sacred Ibis
Sacred Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Australian White Ibis

How the Australian White Ibis got the name dump chook?

The influence of man has meant in some locations these birds rely on refuse dumps as a food source – and they have been given the derogatory name “Dump Chook.”

Dump Chook
Dump Chook

Distinctive characteristics of the Australian White Ibis
The call of this beautiful bird is a series of croaks. Notice the red naked skin which shows under the wing along to the breast. Ibis are social and will usually be with other ibis.

Where can the Australian White Ibis be found?
Australian White Ibis can be found throughout Australia except the most arid parts of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern territory.
By Amanda Jackson

PS ‘Chook’ is Australian slang for chicken or hen

The Emu Bustle

The Emu Bustle

The Emus feathers are bunched into a bustle of its rump. The feathers are long, thick and drooping. These feathers give the appearance of an exaggerated bounce and away when the Emu runs. Emu is a flightless bird.

The Emu Bustle
The Emu Bustle

The sun in this photo makes it really easy to see the emu bustle. The Emu’s plumage is dark brown to grey brown. The plumage of breeding females darkens and the feathers of their head and neck are black. The skin of emu’s head and throat is blue and this blue skin is what what can be seen distinguishing males.

Amanda

PS A bustle was a framed and padded structure worn over a women’s bottom to support the style of dress in fashion in the mid to late 19th century.

Emu Bustle Closeup
Emu Bustle Closeup

Long Billed Corellas in Queensland!

I found long billed Corellas in Queensland!

It is exciting to find a flock of Long Billed Corellas a long way from their usual territory. It is also special to see in the wild, a species that is not normally widely dispersed and is not a common bird population.

The Corella Family:

The white Little Corella has a pink patch at its beak and yellow under its tail and is well known around Queensland. The Long Billed Corella is found in Victoria and a small coastal area in New South Wales and Queensland’s Gold Coast. The center of main distribution for this species is south-west Victoria.

It was exciting to find a flock of approximately 30 Long Billed Corella, called a “family party”, at Maryborough Queensland this week.

No sulphur yellow
No sulphur yellow

Identifying the Long Billed Corella:

Looking at the front and back view of the Long Billed Corella the important identifying features are:

  • the top part of the beak significantly overhanging the lower beak;
  • the pink colouring around the throat;
  • and a very pale yellow under the tail.

Whilst the Little Corella has a beak with only a slight overhang, no pink at the throat and sulphur yellow markings under the tail.

Notice the long bill
Notice the long bill

They are noisy birds:

These birds are noisy! Their calls are discordant which makes them seem even noisier! They have a high pitched call in flight and a streaking alarm call.

Sentinel warning system:

Corella feed on the ground using their long bills to dig up the roots and bulbs on which they feed. While the main flock feeds on the ground a few remain in the tree to keep lookout and warn of danger. Corellas are about 37cm in size and nest in tree hollows.

 

It's breeding season
It’s breeding season

Breeding Season:

Breeding time is August to December. Sighting these birds in Maryborough at this time may mean they will breed in this locality. Male and female birds share the incubation of their eggs (usually two). The female sits on the eggs during the night and the male sits during the day for 24 days. The parents then share the care of the hatchlings for 7 weeks in the nest and 3 weeks after they leave the nest.

What an exciting find!

Enjoy and write me back a comment, I would love that!

Amanda

Australian Python Species

 

Australian Python Species

Carpet snakes or Carpet Pythons are harmless despite their looks and they are extremely diverse in colour and pattern.  Most adults will be an olive green or brown colour, with pale, dark-edged blotches, stripes or cross-bands.  The juveniles are similarly patterned, but often in shades of brown rather than olive green.

“The Place of the Carpet Snake”

Carpet snakes grow to more than 3 meters. Carpet snakes are named after the distinctive patterned skin of the species. The patterns in the photos show blotches, cross bands, stripes and combinations of these markings.

carpet snake living in Caboolture
Close up of the markings of the Carpet Snake

 

 

This member of the Australian Python species is one of beige or brown colour and has grey, blackish, rust, yellow or gold markings.

The carpet snake is nonvenomous however bites are often followed by infection and tetanus cover is recommended. A number of races or subspecies of carpet snake are recognised in different geographic regions of Australia.

Caboolture is a city North of Brisbane on the way to Sunshine Coast.

Kabultur (Caboolture) is the tradition language word in that area for “Place of the Carpet Snake”

Photo: Carpet snake by Amanda
Camouflaged Australian Carpet Python

 

While we were living in Caboolture we found a very large carpet snake feeding out of our wheelie bin. These snakes are often found around farms where they enjoy easy hunting and eat the mice and rats. They will eat chickens and their eggs if they can get them.

If you have any photos of carpet snakes we would love to see them – just reply in the comment box below

Thanks

Amanda

Poem about Birds in Flight

Poem about Birds in Flight

Fly

Amanda Jackson (1969 – )

 

Fly little bird

Soar with open wings

Dive and swoop, then rest

Flit, sunbathe, and nest

No ring on your ankle

No chain

Fly little bird

Soar with open wings

 

Great Galah
magnificent grey and pink galah

Enjoy

Black Cockatoo
Dramatic colours of the Yellow tailed black cockatoo

Birds in Flight – I am jealous!

Zebra Finch building a Nest

Zebra Finch building a Nest

Tiny Zebra Finch
Pair of Zebra Finch – Photo by Amanda Jackson

These gorgeous grey and orange birds are Zebra Finches.

The males have orange cheeks, spot the one on the left with his female mate on the right (above)

 

You can see the zebra reference comes from the striped tail markings in this second photo below.

They are small birds at only about 10 cm and they fly quickly from bush to bush.

 

This is:

Nest building time for the Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch getting a nest ready
Zebra Finches building a nest

 

Photo’s by Amanda Jackson

Darling River Platypus dreaming

Darling River Platypus dreaming

Quoted from “The Biggest Estate on Earth” by  Bill Gammage  p137

 “The land became too crowded, so the animal, bird, reptile and insect families met in the Blue Mountains to negotiate a solution.

Frilled lizard grew impatient and caused a huge storm that killed almost all of the platypus. Grieving the other creatures gathered to help platypus.

This led to a very long debate on who platypus was related too and who it could marry.”

 

The Platypus’ children were still platypus with platypus dreaming. Although these marriages explain why platypus’ look the way they do.

 

Warm wishes

Amanda Jackson