Monday, 28 November 2011

Brisbane Veranda

Queensland houses or 'Queenslander' have some architectural features which are just perfect for birdwatching: timber stumps that lift the building to provide ventilation during the hot summer months (let alone relative safety from floods) also provide for a high point of view to observe the surroundings from the front verandas and if trees are close enough you may have the impression of living right up in the tree canopy. Birds feel more comfortable to come and perch or feed on the wide verandas, giving excellent observation opportunities. These are some Sulphur-crested Cockatoo that usually come to our place.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Crimson Rosellas at the Lamington NP

The Lamington National Park is approximately 100 km south of Brisbane, declared in 1915 after Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland at that time. Remarkable for its 20500 ha, unique flora and fauna and the sheer beauty of its mountains and sub-tropical rain forests, the park was listed as a World Heritage Area in 1994.
 Walking in such an ancient forest encountering so many species of unique wildlife and massive trees was an amazing experience. Many of the encounters such as with the Albert's Lyrebird were fleeting, but Crimson Rosellas -Platycercus elegans- were very friendly and used to feed from people's hands.

View from the tree top

Rain forest waterfalls

View from inside a Strangler Fig

Monday, 14 November 2011

Fascinating feathers

From left: Barn Owl, primary; Laughing Kookaburra, primary; Masked Lapwing, tail feather; Figbird, secondary, Laughing Kookaburra, tail feather; Bush-stone Curlew, primary.
Primary feathers: outer feathers of the wing, provide thrust and propel the bird upward and forward;
Secondary feathers: provide lift by creating the airfoil shape of the bird's wing;
Tail feathers: help the bird to brake and steer in flight.
I've been collecting birds' feathers since I was a child, when our neighbours gave us the tail feathers of the Pheasant they killed and cooked. I still think I can give feathers a second chance to be admired, weather they come from a dead bird or are naturally shed when moulting. And I still wonder how far have they travelled, what places and the secret things they lived with their owner.
Here is a selection of artworks on feathers from my shop.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Playful Magpies

I was surprised to observe the behaviour of this family of Australian Magpies, Gymnorhina tibicen. The young one, in the middle with a stick, was playing around with it and the parents , darker in colour, were jumping all around him/her and lying down making strange moves. All three birds seemed to be very interested in the stick. Their behaviour reminded me of dogs playing with each other with a stick... funny Magpies..

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