Sunday, July 23, 2006
NO,not the politically incorrect Aussie epithet of years ago,meaning a dull witted or stupid person,
but a distinctive iridescent black birdwith red eyes;
stout black bill surrounded by bristles and having a long fishtail- shaped tail.
A migratory bird,our visitor ('he" chases other drongos away) arrives in April and hangs around until sometime in November.
Most of its food consists of flying insects taken in flight,but 'ours" doesn't mind swooping and catching a small piece of raw meat thrown in the air.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Not all our bird visitors are colourful........On the left is a male adult Magpie;
The drab one on the right is one of last year's hatchlings an immature magpie with it's father keeping an eye on proceedings.
The two birds central stage are Pied Butcher birds.
Great mimics of other bird song,their normal call is very similar to the opening stanza of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
When the whole family ( seven or eight, currently) burst into song about 1.30pm most days,who needs the Boston Pops!
These Butcher birds also share as a group in the rearing of the chicks when they arrive;the previous year's hatching act as baby-sitters and feeders for the newest chicks.
Their name derives from the fact that they tend to "hang" their spare food (grubs,lizards,frogs) in crevices in bark or from twiggy branches.
Of course,there are always opportunists........Magpies,Currawongs;Crows and Black-faced Cuckoo shrikes who will rob the pantry.