Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More on Bowerbirds, plus a stray Butcherbird

Following up on the male Bowerbird's recent visit, I saw him briefly the next day, with other members of his clan.

It was late in the afternoon, and the light was not good. However, it does give an opportunity to compare plumage of the female and the immature male bird (nearly mature).

The literature has it that female Bowerbirds keep their dark beaks
whereas the immature males (nearing maturity) gain the
ivory-coloured beak of the male.
This bird is just showing that colour.
However, it also has a deeper green colour (than the female)
on the throat and back of the neck.
Its eye colour is very intense, too.
Here is a family group (one assumes), on the feed table.
I say "one assumes", for a second or two after that shot was taken, the male threw a Tantrum. Nothing else could describe it.
He aimed a kick at the young male (on the right).
But the youngster held its ground.
The female (in the middle) ducked out of the way,
but did not fly away. She stayed put.
The adult male, not having got his way, flew off in a huff.
The female and the young male resumed eating from the fruit on the table.
It was all over in a split-second.
That's why the male is blurred, and the others are clear.

On a more peaceful note, I was surprised to see a young Grey Butcherbird trying a vegetarian diet on the feed table the other morning.

As Butcherbirds are not used to coming to the table, I grabbed a quick shot through the Kitchen window. So it is not very clear, unfortunately. But clear enough to be diagnostic.
It probably will not come back to the table.

With the huge numbers of moths which are around Robertson at present, no doubt this bird and ts colleagues have plenty of high protein food to eat.


mick said...

Great photo of the group together. The differences in plumage between the 3 is very interesting. I haven't seen bowerbirds around here at all but I do see butcherbirds.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
You are lucky with your Butcherbird - presumably the Pied BB. Better markings than ours, and a sweeter whistle.
Ours has a nice warbling call, but yours is much beloved by musicians.

mick said...

Hi Denis, yes I see more Pied BB but also sometimes the Grey BB. I have a friend that says the Pied sounds like the beginning of a Beethoven symphony!

Russell Constable said...

That first bowerbird photo is awesome Denis...nice work!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Russell.
I do like that nice clear Bowerbird image.