demanding young

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rain dancers

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p1130836The Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo is a cheeky character. This male (sex identified by the hot pink eye ring) is feasting on the flower buds of the banksia tree, a tree native to where I live. Behind it is a she-oak, another native tree the cockatoos fancy. Cockatoos tend to stick together, their loud cawking sounds pre-empting their arrival, and their arrival pre-empting rain. 

cheeky visitors

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P1190347.jpgRainbow lorikeets are common birds here in Australia, and they can become very bold, like a pair who came right to the glass door of the place I was housesitting and peered in at me, chattering non-stop, until I relented and gave them some food… a practice I don’t normally do for wild birds, but one they were used to by the home owner and clearly expected. It did give a lovely opportunity though to snap some close photos.

miner chicks

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P1180403.jpgNoisy Miners are fast becoming pests in Australia, but nevertheless they are living beings and like all parents their young are their priority. This nest, located in a small tree beside the house, enabled a clear view of the occupants and the comings and goings of the devoted parents who worked tirelessly to feed those ever demanding fledglings. I wonder which one got the worm!

nut munchers

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female (with speckled feathers) and a male feed on wild macadamia nuts
female (with speckled feathers) and a male feed on wild macadamia nuts

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoos on Magnetic Island are fortunate indeed. Not only is this small island off Townsville, QLD at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef it is predominately classed as a National Park so much of it is untouched vegetation. Growing on the island are numerous wild macadamia nut trees and these parrots happily munched on them, picking the  fallen ripe ones off the ground. The female is distinguished by the speckles on her feathers.

a demanding youngster

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While this shot is slightly blurry, it does capture a unique moment between a foster mother honeyeater and her ‘adopted’ Eastern Koel chick. The Eastern Koel’s natural mother exited the honeyeater eggs/fledglings from their rightful place and deposited her own egg in the honeyeater’s nest. Being so much larger than normal honeyeater fledglings, and requiring so much extra food, the chick tricks its foster mother by chirping incessantly as if it was a number of her own broad. The Koel’s are part of the Cuckoo family and it is common practice to leave their young in another bird’s nest while they continue to ‘trip the light fantastic’.