Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Garden Visitors - the Pied Currawong

The Latin name of this bird, Strepera graculina, means 'noisy jackdaw', and the common name Currawong is Aboriginal and is derived from the very musical and loud calls produced by it. Currawongs are the curious and inquisitive 'pirates' of the bush, harassing other species and members of their own group as well, but nature is rather even and the Pied Currawong is the favourite target for the Channel-billed Cuckoo, who, as other cuckoo species parasites other birds' nests.

The Artamidae family, which includes Butcherbirds, Magpies and Currawongs is rather talented, all members are in fact able to produce pleasing if not very nice and elaborate sounds. The Currawong's call is a loud, flute-like sound that echoes far and is a very typical sound of the bush.

Original paintings ready to be packed and delivered.

Business Cards!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Suburban Owls

I was invited for lunch at some friends' place in a northern Brisbane suburb and there I was surprised once again to see how wildlife is living just on the door-step of people's homes. Many times flamboyant, colourful, noisy and extravagant, other times quiet, secretive and unassuming. The Southern Boobook Owl, Ninox novaeseelandiae, was roosting sheltered on a lower palm leaf, scarcely about two meters from the ground, just on the side of the entrance driveway, silently sleeping and watching at times the comings and goings of both resident people and cars.

He or she didn't appear to be shy or scared, but allowed people to watch him from a very close distance, slowly closing and opening one eye-lid while keeping the other open and vigilant. Once again I found the owl's facial expressions very interesting and charming, softly moving and changing. Boobook Owls are very widespread all over Australia and their night call, a loud and repeated 'book-book' is perhaps one of the best known nocturnal sounds, you can hear a couple of samples here.
Good luck on you Mr. Hoot!

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