Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What's your favourite bird?

I am surprised that in my fifties I have become interested in birds! Yes, the ones with feathers. Partly it is due to living in the Highrise. We see many birds and have been visited on the balcony by many. Unlike Victor, we have not had a kookaburra visit. Another reason is hearing the editor of Bird Life Australia, Sean Dooley, on the radio. He is brilliant. Red and her better half also take a great interest in birds. Jayne is also interested in birds and observes some as she walks to and from work. (Victor, note the spelling of Sean's name)

Birds are great to watch as they go about their business and they can be quite clever, aside from their beauty. But there are ones to dislike such as the koel, which almost spoilt a morning of our holiday.

Birdlife has run a competition to find out what is Australia's favourite bird. I cast a vote, but typical of me, I can't remember which bird I voted for.

In fifth place was the kookaburra, or as my grandparents called it, the laughing jackass.

Fourth place was a bird mainly found in the states of Tasmania and Victoria, the hooded plover. On the dunes near the beach where Sister lives, there are hooded plover patrol people to keep people and dogs away from their nests in the sand dunes.

Third place was the rainbow lorikeet. I adore them.

Second place was a magpie. An Australian magpie is nothing like a European magpie. Ours are wonderful and their territorial warbling is stuff of childhood memories for many. The are so adaptable and can be found in the bush and in the middle of the city. The warble is staking their territory. If a magpie is removed from its area, within six hours another will have taken over the territory because the absence of warbling. If you a foreign type person, this is a magpie warbling. It is a delightful sound to wake to and speaks strongly to Australians. We know we are home when we hear a maggie warbling.



Of course there was a winner. All the obvious favourites seem to have been eliminated. What can it be?

It's the superb fairy wren, or blue wren if you like. It is a pretty bird for sure and quite a busy bird as it quickly darts about. You may remember we stayed in the Blue Wren Motel in Mallacoota and we saw lots of blue wrens there.



The state breakdown is interesting. There were 52 birds to vote for and 8000 people voted. While my state of Victoria voted for the hooded plover, I doubt Josephine Public would know what one looks like. I don't. No surprise at the WA vote. It is a unique and interesting bird.

New South Wales' Favourite Bird: Superb Fairy-wren
Northern Territory's Favourite Bird: Bush Stone-curlew
Queensland's Favourite Bird: Superb Fairy-wren
South Australia's Favourite Bird: Hooded Plover
Tasmania's Favourite Bird: Superb Fairy-wren
Victoria's Favourite Bird: Hooded Plover
Western Australia's Favourite Bird: Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo
Our international voters' Favourite Bird: Spotted Pardalote


31 comments:

  1. What about the Galah? A typical Aussie bird.

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    1. Fun60, being called a galah is a mild insult. Galahs do a lot of damage to farm crops, so I think that is why they are widely liked.

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  2. I think it's time that gives the interest in birds, now that I sit in the back yard a lot and watch them, our regulars are two small blackbirds many doves and a family of wrens two females and the pretty male that come every year. Other come in too but they don't get as close as the regulars.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, yes it takes time to sit and observe, but I don't have much of that. It's nice for you to have your visitors.

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  3. I love birds. Have ever since I was a little boy. My favorite is the mockingbird :)

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    1. Keith, I should know what that is, but aside from a famous book and a song, I don't know.

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  4. Bowerbird...because the male of the species treats his mate well.

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    1. Indeed Hels. They fascinated me as a kid and I even saw one and its bower in the bush once.

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  5. Some years ago, we were adopted by a butcher bird family. They came every day onto our balcony begging for food. I know, I know you're not supposed to feed them but the main bird (matriarch/patriarch) I never knew was very trusting and let me feed him mince meat by hand. But they had a messy habit and we had to wash the outdoor furniture just about daily, so I was told by the Blogger not to feed them anymore. So eventually they found another soft target somewhere.

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    1. Bill, yes feeding can be troublesome as one person in our building found out with pigeons.

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  6. My favourite bird? Chicken. Roasted and served with gravy.
    hahahahahahahahahaha!!
    I like the black cockatoos and crows/ravens and magpies too, also the rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras too. I don't think I have a favourite.

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    1. Boom boom, River. Very good.

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  7. I developed my interest in birds later in life too - only since moving to the inner city, which is odd.

    I thought I knew what a hooded plover looked like but I clicked the link, and I don't. I'm not sure what my favourite bird is. The blue wren certainly is a pretty little bird and I do love the magpie warble - it is the stuff of childhood memories for me.

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    1. Same here Jayne. It is odd. The magpie warble is special.

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  8. Oh, thanks for the mention/link!

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  9. You could cement your place in the bird nerd pantheon by reading Sean Dooley's excellent book 'The Big Twitch' about the year he took to break the OZ record of most OZ bird species sighted in the wild in a year!! It's even interesting for non-bird nerds! My fave bird is the Major Mitchell cockatoo - that's when I'm not supporting the RED birds!! But the emu is pretty cool too ... the male sits on the eggs and raises the young! That's MY kind of bird!!!

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    1. Red, I will drop a hint of christmas for the book. I don't recall ever seeing a MM cockatoo. Emus can be a bit scary.

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  10. Currawong!! But your post jogged my memory of spotted pardalotes. We'd get them from time to time in the Dandenongs, growing up. They were so tiny and so precious.

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    1. They make a lovely sound Fen. Yes, spotted pardalotes are good.

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  11. I was a blue wren in Guides!!

    My colleague from Brisbane and I often reminisce about the maggie's warble - when we're not dreaming of the food we miss!!

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    1. Really wombat.You should make an mp3 file of a magpie warbling and put it on your phone as a wake up alarm.

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  12. As a vegetarian, I should NOT have laughed at River's response. Oops.

    I love Australian birds, so I also loved this post.

    I'm with you on the Rainbow Lorikeets.

    We love the Magpies as well. I like how Australian TV shows (like Home and Away) sometimes have Magpie sounds in the background.

    Did you really forget what bird you voted for? Well...anyway...if you could vote again, what would you vote for this time?

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    1. Dina, I have forgotten but I think it was probably a magpie. I do find ravens very interesting to watch.

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  13. Thanks for advising our state's favourite bird. I wouldn't have a clue what a Superb Fairy-wren is but then I know very little about birds in general.

    As for the spelling of Sean Dooley.....I don't recall what I've said or written to prompt that comment. Remind me at your leisure.

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    1. Victor, his name is spelt Sean and not Shaun.

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  14. Magpies! [the birds, not the team].

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    1. Does FKN have warbling maggies FC? The locals haven't eaten them all?

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    2. Surprisingly enough, raven and indian mynah numbers are declining and maggie numbers growing. Aunty feeds the maggies in our front garden.
      Kookaburras, maggies and wattlebirds form the main bird population.

      The birds are only cooked when bored ferals light fires in the water drainage parks. Naturally they don't actually bother to eat them.

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    3. Very pleased to hear Indian mynahs are in decline.

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  15. The black cockatoos are pretty special and the thing is you don't see them around the city that often.. a couple of times a whole flock has swooped in, landed on my flowering bottle brush, created bedlam and unbelievable mess and swooped off again! I do like the rainbow lorikeets also..j'adore the blue fairy wrens and was really lucky enough to snap one once, love that picture!

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    1. Grace, like all those seed eating birds, the black cockys are very destructive.

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