October 6, 2010

I'm Well Trained

I've written in an earlier blog entry about the birds that have been visiting us seeking food scraps in the last few months. Today I confirmed just how well they have been training me! 

This friendly magpie takes
food straight from my hand.
The Pied Butcher-bird
is an excellent acrobat
The magpies warble a greeting when they arrive, and today the pied butcher-bird stood on top of my clothesline and very loudly announced her presence. Laughing, I grabbed some minced meat from the fridge and took it out onto the back verandah.

The pied butcher-bird is usually too scared to take the food from my hand. Instead I toss little pieces into the air and she leaps up and snatches it. She is an amazing little acrobat.

Yesterday I was delighted to get a couple of reasonable photos of a nutmeg mannikin. These little birds are so full of energy, and so tiny as they flit from branch to twig, that they are almost impossible to catch in a still pose for a good photo.

I have also been trying to get a good shot of the pheasant coucal (koo-kull) or storm-bird as we locals call it. Just recently I've spotted the male chasing a female. Hopefully one day they will both stop close by so I can get some really good photos. Unfortunately, this is really the only decent photo I've been able to get of the male. He usually likes to hide behind as many branches and leaves as possible. I think he's camera-shy.

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