Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Six birds on my way to work

Did I mention lately how awesome the biodiversity is in this country? These are some birds that I photographed on my way to work one day last week.

Top left: Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) are seriously cute, especially because they are mostly seen in pairs and are very gentle with each other. They make nice little chirping sounds which one does not immediately associate with a parrot.

Top right: The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is not closely related to real magpies but, well, colonists never were the most imaginative bunch - just look at city names. This is one of the best known and most popular Australian birds but also well respected for the males' tendency to attack passers-by in the vicinity of their nests during the breeding season. Their songs are strangely melodious in a very alien-sounding way.

Middle left: Speaking of birds for which the colonists did not come up with original names, this is a magpie lark (Grallina cyanoleuca). Its alternative name is peewee, after its call. There is also a magpie goose in Australia. Guess what colours it is!

Middle right: Male wood ducks (Chenonetta jubata). This species of ducks is one of the three most frequent here in Canberra, the other two being black ducks and the beautiful hardheads. Wood ducks appear to forage more on the dry land than the other species, especially while raising their young.

Bottom left: The sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) has featured on this blog before. They are large, highly intelligent, playful, boisterous, destructive, and loud. Their call is an annoying screech which they love to produce while stretching their wings after a night's rest or after a long day's searching for food. Preferably in front of your bedroom window or above your head, of course. But they can also be terribly cute.

Bottom right: Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) are smaller than the sulfur-crested cockatoos and give more pleasant calls. Unfortunately, they are also shyer and thus harder to get a good picture of. These two apparently felt safe from me on top of this lamp.

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