Post 11: Animals and Birds on our Land

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Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to  different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.

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In 2016, the house is looking well finished in the setting of the bush. Birds flit around the glass outside with strident bushland calls. Occasional wild ducks shelter beside the water filled ponds which drain thunderstorm water away from the house. In summer if water remains, blue waterlilies multiply from last years seed left in the muddy bottom when the ponds have dried up.

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The Australian Wood Duck

…. pays us an occasional visit in groups of two or three ducks.  They waddle

across our land generally amongst the taller grass looking for insects and

things to eat. They do not normally swim in the water of our ponds as black ducks often do.

See the website: Images for australian wood duck. …..

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 …. This big post has been in the ground  for  30 years  from  1984. It is

used to  form the edges of a  Garden  Room outside our bedroom.

The top of the post has rotted away leaving a 150 mm depression in

the top of the post. A pair of birds has made their  nest in the top of

the post.  The eggs have hatched out to give little babies which are fed by

the  parents flying back and forth. See the photo below …..

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Blue-faced Honeyeater

…. The Blue Faced Honey Eater is a a brightly coloured, bold and

loud bird, found in the bush as well as in town. It grows to

26cm. The adults have a distinctive blue skin patch around

their eyes. It has a bright olive back with a black head and throat.

Its underbody is white. Young Blue Faced Honey Eaters have a green

facial  patch …..

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….  Very occasionally, koala bears  pass through our land on the way to other places.

They eat the leaves of a  certain kind of eucalyptus tree. There are hundreds of kinds of

eucalyptus trees in Australia but only a few  species that they feed on. Read more at this website  …..

wallaby 1

…. There are many wallabies on our land …. even  present during the day.  You could

be having lunch outside and a wallaby jumps along a boundary fence nearby.

You might come home at night and a wallaby jumps  down the driveway ahead

then jumps off to the side among the trees. One morning about a year ago, Harriet

came quietly to me at about 7.30 am to me in the kitchen and silently motioned

me to come quietly up to our bedroom. We have glass all around our house and

our bedroom  looks out over a pond with water and water lilies. See the photo

below.  A sloped bank rises up about 2.00 metres high to flow into the slight

slope of our land. On top of the bank was a really amazing scene.  A  mother

wallaby was bent down feeding on the grass. She had a  full pouch  with a little

joey with his head out, looking at the world. When she finished feeding, she

jumped down the land  with about five other wallabies. It was just beautiful to

be so close to a wild animal yet would not have seen us as the glass  wall would

show reflections  the surrounding bush  …..

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…. The pond outside our bedroom. We have seen black ducks  swimming in this pond  amongst the waterlilies  ….

Possum

 Mother  possum with a  little baby  possum

….  One morning a few  years ago I was in my office. My wife had gone to work  and I heard a

little sound out in  the front arbour area. I went out and here was the little baby  possum

on the brick  paving at the front door. I realised he must have fallen down from his mother

who slept up in the outside /\  of the top projecting ridge beam. I picked him up and placed

him on one of the arbour vines with the hope he could back up to his mother. I went back to

my office and soon I heard  a bigger sound. I went back out and here was the mother possum

down on the  paving  getting the baby onto her back. She climbs up one of the  the arbour

vines to reach a 50 mm wide timber edge on the  front /\ window. She walks along this ledge

for a 2.00 metres then turns around and starts going the other way. The bush trees are reflected

in the glass so run in and get my camera and get this photo  …..

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Red-tailed black cockatoo

…. The red-tailed black cockatoo also known as Banksian- or

Banks’ black cockatoo, is a large black cockatoo native to Australia.

Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on

the tail that gives the species its name.

Read more on this website ….

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kookaburra-11

 …. Every morning we hear the kookaburras greeting the coming  day about an hour  before sunrise.  Their funny laughing call reverberates through our bush. Recently, a friend of mine was telling me about when he  first came to live in Australia permanently from New Zealand. He heard this funny laughing sound in the morning and he wondered who on earth was laughing at him so early  in the  morning. He soon learnt  that  it was kookaburras …..

Read more on this website ….

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Rosella parrot

….  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Ranging in size from 26–37 cm

(10–14.5 in), rosellas are medium-sized parrots with long tails. The  feathers

on their backs show an obvious scalloping  appearance with colouring that

differs between the species. All species have distinctive cheek patches.

Sexual dimorphism is absent or slight – males and females generally have

similar plumage, apart from the western rosella. The juveniles of the blue-cheeked

species, and western rosella, all have a distinctive green-based plumage,

while immature plumage of the white-cheeked species is merely a duller version

of the adults ….

See images of Rosella parrots at this website

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King Parrot

The Australian king parrot

….  This morning in October 2015, this beautiful  parrot pays us a visit by

sitting on a branch over one of  our ponds. The bright red and  the brilliant

green feathers stands out  amidst the grey – green leaf foliage. This parrot

is normally  found in humid and heavily forested upland regions of the

eastern portion of the  Australian  continent, including eucalyptus wooded areas in

and directly adjacent to subtropical and temperate rainforest. They feed

on fruits and seeds gathered from trees or on the ground ….

See images of King parrots at this website

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Noisy friarbird
 …. The Noisy Friarbird is a large member of the honeyeater family with a distinctive naked black head and a strong bill with a prominent casque (bump) at the base. The upperparts are dark brown to grey, the underbody is off-white, with silver-white feathers around the throat and upper breast, and the tail has a white tip. It is a noisy and conspicuous bird mainly seen in small groups, usually up in trees.

The Noisy Friarbird prefers dry forests and eucalypt woodlands, as well as coastal scrub, heathlands and around wetlands and wet forests, and is found in most climate zones, extending into arid areas along rivers.  It is frequently seen  on our land among the gum trees. In early September 2016 (the start of Spring  in Australia), a pair of noisy friarbirds made a nest up in the native wisteria vine growing over the arbour. See  The Outside Amphitheatre Garden Room  for details on the native wisteria vine. The  have eggs hatched out and parent birds kept flying back and forth feeding their chicks. It was wonderful in hearing  the cry of the chicks with each feeding. 

In the last few weeks another pair of Noisy Friarbirds have made a nest inside a shallow basket hanging outside a  kitchen window. The basket hanging outside about  1.50  metres away from the kitchen sink. Through the glass you would see the birds flying  back and forth with web-building material . As of  the  17th September, there are suddenly have  two eggs  in the nest. See the two photographs below. It is  how to have a close intimacy with  the  birds on our land  …. .

 

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 …. Pacific Black Duck ….

From this website:

The Pacific Black Duck is mostly mid-brown in colour, with each feather edged buff. The head pattern is characteristic, with a dark brown line through the eye, bordered with cream above and below and a dark brown crown. The upper wing colour is the same as the back, with a bright glossy green patch in the secondary flight feathers. The white underwing is conspicuous in flight. Young Pacific Black Ducks are similar to the adults in plumage.

Where does it live?

Distribution: 

The Pacific Black Duck is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region.

Habitat: 

The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats. Pacific Black Ducks are usually seen in pairs or small flocks and readily mix with other ducks. In the wild, birds are often very wary of humans and seldom allow close approach. Birds in urban ponds become quite tame, however.

Seasonal movements: 
 
What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Pacific Black Duck is mainly vegetarian, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants. This diet is supplemented with small crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic insects. Food is obtained by ‘dabbling’, where the bird plunges its head and neck underwater and upends, raising its rear end vertically out of the water. Occasionally, food is sought on land in damp grassy areas.

Breeding: 

Mating in Pacific Black Ducks coincides with availability of sufficient food and water, and often with the onset of heavy rains or when waterways are at their peaks. Courtship is accompanied by ritualised displays including preening, bobbing and wing-flapping. This behaviour is often initiated by the female, and, other than copulation, the male helps little in the breeding process. Often, two broods will be raised in a year. The number of offspring produced may seem quite high, but only 20% of these will survive past two years of age.

… In November 2017, I was home by myself as my wife had gone out. I heard a little sound outside on the northside of the house where our ponds are located.

I went to have a look and here was a black duck  pecking at the glass. It was being territorial and pecking at its own reflection in the glass window. we have similar situation with another small bird species. It is very annoying at times as you have go and shoo the bird away.

With the black ducks, they normally swim  and forage for food in one of three large ponds.

A pair of black ducks has taken to  crossing our front lawn and wandering through our garden. They are becoming quite tame. We have a big aviary on our land with many birds …. but we live in the aviary = the house but the birds are outside.

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The End of the Posts on Our House and Garden.