It that close enough for you?

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

This Scaly-breasted Lorikeet in one of the aviaries at the Australian Reptile Park made certain I managed a good photo of it up close. He posed in a number of different ways, squawking loudly as if to ask how it looked.

It is getting photos like this one that I like visiting zoos, and especially zoos with aviaries. While it is great if the zoo has walk-through aviaries, I have proved that one can take reasonable shots through the wires of the cage. Sometimes you just get lucky – like on this occasion – and the bird poses really well.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeets are found along the coastal regions of eastern Queensland and in north-east New South Wales. It is a species I have yet to observe in its natural environment – another reason for getting photos in a zoo. I think I am well overdue for a trip to Queensland.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

 

 

A high rise bird apartment

Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwing

From time to time I see some amazing, interesting or even bizarre things where birds are concerned. At first glance, today’s photos could fall into that category. Masked Lapwings (plovers) are usually found on grassy areas – lawns, ovals and roadside verges. What is this one doing on the roof of the Australian Reptile Park (near Sydney)?

Oddly enough, this is quite common behaviour with this species. In fact, they often prefer to nest up on the roof of a house, shed, office or factory in some situations. How the little hatchlings survive the drop onto the ground amazes me; they must be quite tough little balls of fluff. Perhaps all that downy fluff helps them to bounce like a tennis ball.

When you think about it, nesting on a roof is a better survival strategy than nesting on the ground like they usually do. Not only does this help minimise the threat from cats and dogs, it generally does away with interfering people and their mowers.

In this case however, it is the one safe place to nest away from the hundreds of visitors to the park every day – that’s a lot of shoes tramping around on every available bit of grass. Eggs don’t take kindly to stomping feet.

Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwing

 

This is not what I wanted

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

The Major Mitchell Cockatoo has to be one of Australia’s most beautiful birds. I also do not yet have a great photo of this species. The individual shown in today’s photo was in one of the aviaries at the Australian Reptile Park, near Sydney. Just seconds before I took this photo it had its crest up. I waited and waited, but it didn’t lift the crest again and we had to move on.

I think I will have to camp out on the farm where I grew up. That is where I last saw this species in the wild, but I was too slow with my camera before they flew off. You can see several other photos of captive birds here.

The photo below I took of two cockatoos during the Bird Show at Taronga Park Zoo some years ago. These are trained birds, not wild ones.

Major Mitchell Cockatoos at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney

Major Mitchell Cockatoos at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney

At last – an Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

At last – a series of photos of the Eastern Yellow Robin. It is a relatively common bird in its range. Trouble is, I have never spent much time in its preferred range. Having to travel great distances to see some bird species can be a pain at times, but when you see that elusive bird, or get a good photo of one that has eluded your lens up until that time, it becomes a special moment.

I have seen this species in many places over the years, but so far haven’t managed a photo – even a reasonable shot. Those shown today on this post are not brilliant, but they are a start. Now the goal is to improve on these photos.

The Eastern Yellow Robin is found throughout easternĀ  Australia, from Queensland through New South Wales and southern Victoria and into south-eastern South Australia. Its close relative, the Western Yellow Robin is found in southern Western Australia and western South Australia. It has been well over 30 years since our last trip to WA. We must rectify that soon.

Today’s photos were taken in the grounds of the Australian Reptile Park. The robin was a wild bird and not part of their aviary collection.

Further reading about robins:

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

What are you staring at?

Male Eclectus Parrot

Male Eclectus Parrot

I think that the title of this post says it all.

The quizzical look this male Eclectus parrot is giving me speaks volumes.

If only we could tell what he was thinking.

The photo was taken at the Australian Reptile Park near Gosford, north of Sydney.

Further reading: