I have called this week's SoS 'Garden Visitors Three' because I've previously posted Garden Visitors and Garden Visitors Two, so the title of this post seems to be quite pertinent. We have recently had a number of really delightful guests in the garden. I wish they would become permanent residents, but perhaps because there isn't really a canopy as yet, their sojourns are fleeting; a hasty stop before flitting off elsewhere. They are visitors of the feathered variety, of course, but because I had a lot of difficulty photographing them without a telephoto lens, the photos aren't the best quality.
1. A male King Parrot. These large parrots can become quite tame and will eat food from a person's hand. In our town they're almost at the most western limit of their distribution. He is quite resplendent in his suit of scarlet and green, and he has a a blue tail, which doesn't feature very well from this angle.
2.A female King Parrot, looking a little ruffled: she might have spotted me loitering. These parrots mate for life and can always be seen as a couple. They communicate with each other by emitting sweet whistles.
3. A male Superb Fairy Wren. He isn't monogamous at all and can be seen darting through the shrubbery with his harem of females, communicating with them with silvery calls. A fairy wren is tiny and weighs on average 10 grams. These little birds like dense foliage to keep them safe from predators: he'd be rather prominent with his bright, almost irridescent blue livery.
4. Here's one of his wives. She's quite dowdy in comparison, but very sweet nevertheless. These birds are one of Australia's favourites. It was really difficult to get a clear photo of the wrens because they're never still for more than a second as they dart hither and thither searching for insects.
5. This handsome bird in his dinner suit is a Butcherbird. I'm not able to identify it specifically, because I can't see enough of it and there are several different varieties. Butcherbirds have earned their name because of their habit of wedging animal bodies (lizards, other smaller birds or mice) into the fork of a tree, or impaling them on a broken branch (just like a butcher hanging a carcass ) before tearing them into smaller pieces. Look at that beak! Just made for carnage. One of those little wrens would make a perfect meal if it wasn't hidden away in my shrubbery! Butcherbirds are friendly to humans however (except during nesting time), and can be tamed. A redeeming feature is their call, a variety of sounds, but often a glorious, perfectly pitched sequence of notes in the cool Autumn morning air. They are related to Australian magpies and like them, are clever at mimicking other birds and animals.
You can hear an example of the Butcherbird's song here
6. White Cheeked (or eastern) Rosella. This Rosella often uses one of its feet, usually the right foot, to hold food when eating on the ground or perched on a tree. Right-handed Rosellas, who would have thought it! They eat seeds, fruits and nectar. They also, like most parrots, mate for life. This one is a male.
I hope that when the canopy in my garden becomes thicker, more of these birds will come to stay.
Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the Six on Saturday meme. Don't forget to go on over to his site to see what other gardeners are doing this week.
Weather today: Sunny, 13-31 C