Monday, December 3, 2012

Tawny Frogmouth trio.

These three birds were in a gum tree in our yard all day Saturday. We don't know when they arrived, as they don't make any sound, so they could have been up there for a day or two. We wouldn't have known because they blend into the tree bark so well, but Ken spotted a lot of bird droppings in one spot on the path, looked up to see where it came from, and saw the owls! I took my photos from the only available angles; it was bright sunshine and I could only really get on one side of the tree. Unfortunately the neighbours were having a rowdy party that didn't end until 10pm, and when we looked out that night, the owls had gone, and they didn't come back on Sunday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rainbow Lorikeets.

I've posted photos of these birds before, but not since I've had my new camera, so I think these pics might be better than previous ones on this blog. We think they are the same pair of Lorikeets that have been coming nearly every day for years!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crimson Rosella

An occasional visitor to the feeding station on our front porch is now a daily regular - a beautiful male Crimson Rosella. I've always wondered why the person who named this bird couldn't have called it the Blue & Crimson Rosella, because the blue feathers are as brilliant as the red ones. The photos are a bit dark because they were taken through a tinted window, as well as being just on dusk. I think he suspected I was there because he kept on looking at the window, even though it is one of those tints that is a mirror finish on the outside so nobody can see in. Birds are not stupid!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Birds in Backyards experiment finished.

C has been busy, driving across Melbourne in the freezing early hours, just to put seed out on the dishes that he supplied, in our front yard!  He sat and observed the birds twice, for the last time this morning, and he was accompanied by a friend who took some photos.  Fortunately it was not raining or foggy, but still very cold, so I took a hot cup of tea outside for him about 8.30 am.  Our resident birds were most unco-operative this morning; they must have all slept in, because the only ones to make an appearance at first were the Bronzewing pigeons, followed by two Galahs at about 9 am.  There were a couple of other birds up in the trees, but they didn't show themselves.  What a shame that C didn't come yesterday - a pair of King Parrots came down to his dish and spent quite a while feeding.  I was able to get some photos - not as clear as I would like; I'm still getting used to my new camera.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bird visitors experiment.

We were recently contacted by "C", an honours student at Monash University, to ask if we would take part in a study on native birds in Melbourne suburban yards.  Theyare participating in this study with the organisation "Birds In Backyards".  He has put five dishes of bird seed around our front lawn and will be topping them up and monitoring the yard morning and night to see what birds come and go.  I usually feed our bird visitors on the front verandah, but C. asked me not to do that for a week, as he wants the birds to find his dishes of food.  They didn't take long!!
The Galahs who visit us most days were visibly puzzled when they turned up yesterday and there was no seed out for them.  I watched them through the window as they sat on their usual branches, heads on one side, waiting for me to open the door and put out the seed.  I eventually opened the front door and they looked at me expectantly.  I shook my head and said 'Sorry guys, not today.  But go and have a look on the front lawn'.  Now you might think this is really stupid.  If so, you have no idea how intelligent birds can be.   Those galahs flew off, circled around for a few minutes, then landed on the lawn and gobbled up all the seed that C had put out that morning.  There are the dishes, a few husks and a few feathers where there was a tussle over the last seeds!
They were so quick, I didn't have time to get my camera while they were still there.  C is coming tomorrow morning again and will stay for about an hour, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  The cheeky little beggars might not turn up at all, just to spite us, lol!
Next Day.
Our bird population didn't let me down.  'C' was able to observe galahs, rainbow lorikeets, a magpie, a raven, bronzewing pigeons, and a few other smaller birds in the space of an hour.  I think he was pleased!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Roger The Rooster and his Hens

Okay, so these aren't native Australian birds, but they are still in our back yard!  Roger is a young Wyandotte rooster. 

These two are Rhode Island Red hens.  We hatched them from eggs that were given to us by a chook breeding friend.  They always hang around together, so cute!
The white hen is a Columbian.  Not a good angle, but it's hard to photograph the chooks, they are always on the move, especially when they see us stalking them with our cameras!

Little Corellas

Little Corellas come into our yard now and then. There are flocks of them around here most of the time, and I guess they have a multitude of back yards to choose from to find food, either in the trees or put out for them by humans. I have a new camera, so I took these photos with it through the tinted window that looks out onto our front porch. My old camera didn't do a very good job, but I'm quite pleased with these photos.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

King Parrot in our front yard.

There are a pair of these King Parrots that turn up every now and then to snack at our feeding station.  We've seen them around in other people's yards, so we think they are local residents who do a little tour of the bird friendly houses around here.  They are quite tame, and probably used to having their photo taken, as he didn't even flinch when the flash went off.  The last  photo here was taken when he came within a foot of me to perch on the fence, but unfortunately I'd been messing around with the setttings on my camera, so the colour is all wrong....waaaah!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Canaries and Gouldian Finches

Ken has decided to devote his aviaries to Gouldian Finches and Canaries (with one aviary set aside as a home for the chooks).

He sold all the budgies and Zebra Finches to free up aviary space, so he now has two aviaries with nest boxes in for breeding pairs of Gouldians, one aviary for the juveniles when they've fledged and can feed themselves, and one for mutations. Here he is trying to catch up birds to transfer them to their new takes him ages, they are like tiny missiles!

He has two pairs of canaries, each pair in separate aviaries with Gouldians, as they are quite compatible. The Canaries use open baskets to lay their eggs - hard to believe she will raise her babies in here once they hatch, but they do!   This one is sitting on eggs.

In the other aviary, three chicks are hatched and growing fast.
Mum has a job trying to feed them all!

The Gouldians use enclosed nest boxes, so there is no competition for nesting space.  Little face peering out of this nest box.  Ken has numbered the four boxes so he can keep track of who's who.
These two are so called mutations, with a white chest instead of purple or mauve.
  They can have black or red heads.
My camera doesn't always record the colour properly, but this photo has captured the purple chest on this male very well.  Notice his head is neither red nor black, but a shade of orange, which is also happens occasionally in breeding mixed pairs.

This photo taken at the sunny end of the aviary shows the brilliance of the red heads on these white breasted birds.

We spend hours out here on a weekend, just watching our beautiful birds!

Monday, January 16, 2012

King parrots

I don't know what woke us up at 8 am on Sunday, but whatever it was, we were grateful! On opening curtains to see what caused us to wake so suddenly, we saw a pair of King Parrots on the feeding station. Ken opened the door very quietly, and they didn't seem to worry, so he was able to put some more seed out there while they sat and watched. The male bird has the bright red chest, with a dash of light green on his dark green wing. Lovely!