Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Currawong Corroboree

You can play spot the birds today. There are at least a dozen currawongs in this bottle brush tree (picture below). The palms you see in the upper right hand corner are their target. Ripe red bangalow palm berries. 

That day, (18th August) began sunny with a little wind. The currawongs arrived suddenly. 

Their proper name is pied currawongs. They are large crow-like birds with a hook on their beak. Mainly black, with a crescent shaped patch of white on their wings. Base of tail and tip white. They have yellow irises while magpies have them red. The quickest way to tell the difference. Because currawong habitat is open and low forest, they do well around human habitations with trees and parks nearby. 

This crew, a dozen or more of the the local mob, took over the bottlebrush tree, calling and singing at the top of their vocal (voice?whistling?) range and playing what resembled a game of musical chairs (perches) in the bottlebrush tree, while a couple of their number fed in the nearby bangalow palms. 

For some reason, it's the spring time feast today, with everyone present. At any other time there might be a bird or two feeding solitarily. This is the second year that I've hosted them all for an hour or two. The racket finishes quite suddenly and they disperse around the district again. 

I was lucky getting the photo I did because not one of them sat still for more than a couple of seconds before moving to another branch. I didn't want to go too close because they're quite wary in this mood and might have flown away and it's a privilege, in my opinion, to have currawong corroboree in one's backyard. 

An hour later it was raining. 

Spot the Currawongs

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