Sunday, 14 October 2012

Birds of a Feather

Currawong stays alert between drinks

Currawongs have been coming to our bird bath. They do savor a drink and a splash. I love hearing the calls of currawongs.

Rainbow lorikeets
Lorikeets chatter and screech, continuously, but their brilliant colours make one forget to notice noise levels. Two kinds of lorikeets have gathered at the birdbath today: rainbow lorikeets with blue heads and scaly-breasted lorikeets (slightly smaller) with green heads.

Rainbow Lorikeets and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets 
The birdbath has a circumference of ~114 cm (~45”) . The lorikeets squabble if more than six gather around the rim. I infer that lorikeets like to occupy a personal space of about 18 cm (~7”). If each bird is about 5 cm (2”) wide, that provides 10 cm (5”) or so between each bird. I assume that distance is a little further than necessary to nip a neighbour's leg. ETA: Lo and behold, I just saw 11 lorikeets crowded around the rim. There goes my avian personal space theory.

Great Bowerbird
The Great Bowerbird is another welcome visitor. One bowerbird regularly admires/attacks its reflection in the windows of the weaving room. We also encounter this bird in the shower room excitedly conversing with its reflection in the mirror whenever we forget to turn the mirror to face the wall after each use. I can't judge the bird as too foolish since both my husband and I have found ourselves talking back with vehemence at newsreaders on tv.

We're slowly getting over the habit of watching tv news, like we got over the habit of reading printed newspapers. When we lived in California some 25 years ago, my husband bought and read a newspaper every day. Nowadays we find most of our news online through forums of interest and blogs. On occasion when I can't resist seeking a traditional news fix, I look at The Guardian newspaper online. Most often I wind up feeling like I've slowed down to look at a wreck on the freeway.

Watching native birds visit the birdbath makes me feel content on these warm autumn days.

Post by M in JaM
Photos by J in JaM

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