Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Walk on the Wlid(life) Side: The Birds

The wildlife had to be one of the high points of Australia. Some animals, we were able to see in the wild as well as captivity; others, we were only able to see in a wildlife park or preserve. With many, we were able to get up close and personal, actually touching them. Others, just seeing was enough. My initial list of photos to include here is so long that I shall endeavor to cut it further as I develop this post, perhaps limiting it to one or two "in the wild" and one or two "in captivity" shots. Let's see if I can succeed.

One of the things I miss most about Australia now that we're home is waking up to some of the most incredible bird calls I've ever heard. Some readers who might also be birders will cringe at my statement that I've never really noticed the calls of birds here. Owls, maybe, at night, but not really any others during the daytime. In Australia, we woke up most mornings to some of the most incredible bird calls. There are birds that stand out here--cardinals come to mind--but the everyday ones we saw in Australia are the same ones we'd go to the National Zoo in Washington, DC to see here. So let's start with the birds.

In the post I managed to put up from Western Australia, I noted that we'd seen that popular crossword puzzle answer, emu, in the wild.
We also saw one in captivity,
as well as another large group in the wild. We also saw emu eggs, which are dark bluish-black, for sale in a craft shop. We also saw ostrich eggs being sold as emu eggs, perhaps because they are bigger and may seem more impressive. Personally, I thought the real emu eggs were pretty darn impressive on their own.

At the same place we saw the captive emu, we saw these guys up in a tree, which technically makes them in the wild.
According to an Australian source in the comments that follow, these canoodling types are galahs, something I may have been told at the time but forgot in the interim. I also saw a whole flock (not really, since they don't go together, but what else should I call a large number of birds) of amazing birds at the Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth. There were some incredible owls, including the tawny frogmouth that masquerades as a tree branch.
We also saw two others somewhat reminiscent of Harry Potter.
Besides the owls, we saw these birds at the indoor animal viewing time. This one is a type of cockatoo known as a Major Mitchel; I remembered that after reading it in the comments below.
And again, thanks to the comments, this one is a gang gang.
I still have no idea what this dancing fellow is, but feel free to enlighten me with a comment.
This guy was in one of the outdoor enclosures. I think this is the one referenced in the comments as a lorikeet.
So was this one.
This is actually a wild kookaburra that found its way into the wildlife park. It took off from the fence and ended up atop the kookaburra enclosure. Needless to say, the kookaburras within were not too happy and expressed their displeasure somewhat vehemently.
While I was buying some music CDs and gifts at the gift shop, the husband made a quick trip to see the cassowary he'd always wanted to see in person.
While in Melbourne, we traveled on what is known as the Great Ocean Road, on which we encountered a number of cockatoos, some in more interesting poses than others,
including one that helped answer the question of why the cockatoo crossed the road.
Answer: Better grubs in the lawn on the other side. Finally, also from Melbourne, we visited Philip Island for the nightly parade of little penguins (also called fairy penguins) from the ocean to their nests. No photography is permitted, and the photos for sale--a photo of you against a green screen into which penguins were photoshopped--were just too cheesy for words.

Coming next: Mammals and more.


Running Amok With An Ax said...

The two pink and grey birds canoodling in the tree are galahs, the one imitating a tree stump is a tawny frogmouth, and the blue/green/orange lovely is a lorikeet. The owls - dunno. And the baby photoshopped in amongst the Little Penguins was a giggle!

Running Amok With An Ax said...

Hey, I know way more about Australian birds than I realised! My subconscious has just advised me that the pink and white cockatoo is probably a Major Mitchel, while the grey one with the red head is likely a Gang Gang.
I'm advising my subconscious that now is a good time to shut up about birds :)

Debi said...

I finally stole a little time for myself this afternoon and have started catching up on your blog. I'm going chronologically, so I haven't read this post yet. But I just had to take a second to thank you for all these wonderful posts! It is just so much fun to see the world through your eyes, you awesome lady you!!!

Debi said...

Treated myself to three more posts today. :) And treat is definitely the right word! I'm going to be sorry when I do get caught up...but then maybe I'll have to go back and reread your posts from your last trip. :)