Pebbly Beach #6 – King Parrots 2 (Female and Juvenile)

This is the last bird post from the Pebbly Beach shots, so I thought I would end the bird series in much the same way it started – with the Australian King Parrot.

While the male King Parrot is characterised by his bright red head (the only Australian parrot with a totally red head), the female has a green head but shares similar colours on other parts of her body.




Juvenile males start off with the green-headed colouring of the female, before gaining a fully red head on maturity. In between like this adolescent bird, they have a randomly colourful blend of both sexes.



This lad was a bit like human adolescents can be – full of cheek and misbehaviour – and amused himself with a visitor’s parked car.



This older male showed little respect for the windscreen wipers either, in an equally cheeky but less destructive way.


I hope you’ve enjoyed these gorgeous birds. My next post will feature some kangaroos to wrap up the Pebbly Beach fauna series.

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Pebbly Beach #5 – Wood Ducks

Pebbly Beach is home to a lovely pair of Australian Wood Ducks with the melodic Latin name Chenonetta jubata. It is a dabbling duck that is much more often seen on land than in water, nibbling away at grass, herbs and the occasional insect.

On the left is the female with her lighter-coloured head and white lower belly. The male (very cooperatively displaying his tail feathers for the camera), has a darker head and black lower belly.

DSC_3195_DxOHere the male is very cooperatively showing off the dark mane of feathers that gives the Wood Duck another common named, the Maned Duck. Their stance and movements give them their third common name, the Maned Goose.

Below, the female shows off her softly beautiful white face markings and less prominent mane.

DSC_3199_DxODSC_3200_DxOHere the female and male proudly show off whatever it is they have been getting their beaks into.

DSC_3202_DxO DSC_3210_DxOThe common, gorgeous, Wood Duck.

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Pebbly Beach #4 – Satin Bowerbird

The Satin Bowerbird is found in rainforest and eucalyptus forest in north Queensland and then from southern Queensland along the east coast of Australia into Victoria.

The males are characterised by their glossy blue-black plumage, while females are more of a dull green. In breeding season, males construct an elaborate bower of twigs, which they paint with a mixture of saliva, pine leaves, berries and charcoal. They then decorate the bower with items like cicada or other insect pupae and berries but have a particularly strong attraction to blue objects such as blue flowers (yellow are also used). When the birds are living close to suburban areas the bowers are often decorated with manufactured blue objects such as plastic bottle caps, pegs, cigarette lighters and plastic packaging.

Here are some shots of a male satin bowerbird at Pebbly Beach, together with a shot of a female that I came across last year in the National Art Gallery sculpture garden.

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Pebbly Beach #3 – Crimson Rosellas

Crimson Rosellas are a common but always beautiful sight along the east coast of Australia.

They mainly forage for fruits, seeds, nectar, berries and nuts but the bird featured here discovered the nutritional value of the undigested grass in kangaroo droppings. Tasty!

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Pebbly Beach #2 – Rainbow Lorikeets

Rainbow lorikeets are a beautiful and cheeky little bird. They quickly become accustomed to humans, to the point that two wild lorikeets ended up on my daughter’s shoulders.

Here are a few shots of one of the lorikeets at Pebbly Beach, supplemented with some attracted to the feeder in my father’s backyard.

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Pebbly Beach #1 – King Parrots

Last week I spent a few days on the South Coast of New South Wales, the nearest part of the coast to my home in Canberra.

The trip included a wonderful morning at Pebbly Beach, nestled into the bush within the Murramarang National Park. This is a beautiful piece of undeveloped coastline where the local wildlife has become very used to campers and day visitors. Over the next few posts I will share some images of the wonderful wildlife that lives in this area.

Today I present the stunning Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis), endemic to eastern Australia. These are males – characterised by their red heads (the females have green head and breast feathers).

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Why You Need a Big Lens to Photograph Birds

I’ve just come back from a few days at the coast. Lots of photos to sort through for upcoming posts. In the meantime…

Many of the photos were with my new monster lens, a Tamron 150-600mm. Mostly this was used for actually taking the photos, but for this one it was reduced to the status of an overpriced perch.

Photo taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 phone camera.

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