Spontaneously spotting spectacular bird species in Australia

Australia is home to some of the most amazing exotic bird species. Colourful and loud, black and bold, tiny and shy. All of them equally fascinating.

Before you picture me in all beige ‘armed’ with binoculars and a telescopic lens on my professional SLR camera, I haven’t quite reached THAT level of bird-spotting fanaticism. Yet.

I have, however, always enjoyed the ‘sport’ of trying to get a snapshot of the best – or worst – possible bird poses. And waking up to the sound of birds chattering, squeaking, and peeping away at each other somehow makes me feel calm and happy.

Rainbow Lorikeet

With Melbourne Royal Park right on our doorstep, I have struck it rich this time. Birds of all sorts are always “fluttering” around the house, and we don’t have to go very far to spot some of these playful creatures.

The other day, I was distracted from my translation work by birds that were screaming so loudly that even the traffic was drowned out. My curiosity was triggered. The computer was pushed aside, and my feet slipped into a pair of shoes. Time to investigate!

Rainbow Lorikeet in Royal Park, Melbourne, Australia
Playful Rainbow Lorikeet in Royal Park, Melbourne, Australia

Unfortunately, we never quite figured out what they were up to. In hindsight, maybe they were just telling us to get our *sses outside on this beautifully sunny day. Very right they were! :-)

We went into our back yard to play some badminton when all of a sudden another flock of small and squeaking – or should I say SCREAMING – birds flew over. I wish I had a recording I could play for you. Never have I heard birds being that loud.

Kookaburra

I stood there staring into the sky in awe, when Will asks me: do you see the big guy?

Big guy? What big guy?
There it was. Sitting on our very own fence. A real Laughing Kookaburra.

Laughing Kookaburra sitting on a fence in our back yard, Melbourne, Australia
A Laughing Kookaburra sitting on a fence in our back yard!

Except this one wasn’t quite laughing. It was more of a serious Kookaburra.
Staring at us as if to say: “I don’t care if you’re only standing three feet away. In this land, I make the rules,” this bold fellow didn’t as much as blink as I fired away an entire photo shoot.

Literally standing right in front of him.

Kookaburra photo shoot in our back yard, Melbourne, Australia
This bold Kookaburra remained seated and staring at us for an entire photo shoot!

In fact, Will even managed to pose with our new friend!

Will engaged in a staring contest with a Kookaburra
Will engaged in a staring contest with ‘our’ Kookaburra

Which reminds me of a gleeful moment that happened 7 years ago on Kangaroo Island.

My own opportunity to hold a Kookaburra! Or… two Kookaburras?

Holding a Kookaburra in Tasmania, Australia
Here I am holding a Kookaburra…
Holding two Kookaburras in Tasmania, Australia
…Tada! Now there is two Kookaburras sitting on my wrist! :D

Cockatoo

This is another example of the bold type of spectacular bird species in Australia. If you dare to blink or look away, cockatoos jump right onto your breakfast table to snatch the bread off your plate. Especially the ones around the Great Ocean Road!

Now that I think about it… Maybe they have been taking lessons from Seagulls? 😉

Cockatoo eating a piece of bread, Great Ocean Road, Australia
This Cockatoo snatched a piece of bread from my sandwich, hopped over to the fence, and started enjoying his own breakfast…
Cockatoos enjoying bread crumbs, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Some others at least had the ‘decency’ to wait for my crumbs… ;-)
Many Cockatoos in Lorne, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Innocent tourists “under attack” from Cockatoos in Lorne, Great Ocean Road

Australian Magpie

Not the most colourful bird, but certainly one of the most common and widespread. The Australian Magpie – different from the European Magpie – is a familiar bird of parks, gardens, and farmland in Australia. Its calm and determined behaviour shows it has adapted well to human habitation.

In other words, if you happen to spot a lovely park bench in a nice shady spot to take a rest or have a picnic, don’t even think this buddy is going anywhere!

Australian Magpie sitting on park bench, Melbourne, Australia
Australian Magpie sitting on a park bench
Australian Magpie
Australian Magpies can be spotted by the dozens in Royal Park!

Crimson Rosella

Let’s finish off with a splash of colour from the Crimson Rosella, a native parrot to Eastern and South Australia.

I managed to spot this beautiful bird playing in the trees at MacKenzie Falls in Grampians National Park. It was tricky to get a good shot, as these feathery friends kept turning around or flying away every time I had my camera focused!

Oh well, nothing that can’t be overcome with patience and determination… :)

Crimson Rosella playing in the trees at the MacKenzie Falls, Grampians National Park
Crimson Rosella playing in the trees at the MacKenzie Falls, Grampians National Park
Crimson Rosella showing off its chest at MacKenzie Falls, Grampians
Crimson Rosella showing off its chest and curiously staring at me?

Do you like birds?
Ever tried to take (good) photos of our feathery friends?

What’s your favourite bird? Australian or otherwise, let me know what to keep an eye out for! :)

 

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