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The juvenile Eastern Koel I have been tracking for Birdlife Australia (a public survey to learn more about the Koel’s habits) seems healthy and happy, growing steadily under the dutiful care of its ‘adopted’ mother the Little Wattlebird. Like most cuckoos the Eastern Koel lays its egg in another birds nest and on hatching the juvenile Koel pushes any other eggs/fledglings out and becomes the sole recipient of food. Much needed given it grows much bigger than its new parent.
This Purple Swamphen belongs to the Gallinules, large crakes with short bills and coloured frontal shield on the forehead. They love aquatic weeds, pulling them up to feed on bases and roots. They are quite common in Australia and can be found in many wetlands. I spotted this one at Warriewood Wetlands in Sydney. They have very wide feet, I assume they keep them stable when the surface is moist and yielding.
There are a few of these ducks at Warriewood Wetlands in Sydney‘s northern suburbs. In a bustling peninsula the area is 26 hectares of protected zone for native wildlife, the last remaining sand plain wetland in Sydney. Mostly it seems to be a habitat for birds though there are the usual small reptiles and frogs like the common Blue Tongue Lizard. This duck appears to be a cross between a duck and a mallard … I’m guessing a Pacific Black Duck and a Northern Mallard. It is not unusual for these types to interbreed. They both fall into the category of dabbling duck, or dipping ducks. They takes insects, seeds and floating vegetation from on or just below the surface. The orange legs denote her as female.
Acknowledgement: The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2 ed.