Spotted! Spotted Whistling Ducks in Weipa

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Cape York, feathered, Spotted!

Now here’s one you don’t get to see too often. Unless of course you live in Weipa. Then you would see these guys fairly regularly on the local sewage ponds (on a side note – sewage ponds are a great place to see birds if you can handle the smell). But for those of us from anywhere else in Australia the sight of a Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) is something to write home about.

The Australian Bustard: when being delicious is not a recipe for success

Posted on 19 CommentsPosted in Central Australia, Central QLD, feathered, North QLD

The first scientifically described Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) was shot in what is now Agnes Water in May 1770. Captain Cook recorded in his journal “it turned out an excellent bird, far the best…that we have eat since we left England” [sic]. A culinary, if not cultural echo of Aboriginal Australians who have valued the Bustard as food for millennia.

Parasitic storm birds in a suburb near you

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Central QLD, feathered, NSW coast, South East QLD

If you are in the north or east of Australia you may have noticed ‘grey toucan-like birds’ (as described by a Sydney friend) in your suburb making ridiculous sounds at all time of the day and night. These birds are actually the migratory Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae). They are commonly referred to as storm birds as they turn up in summer to breed then head back to New Guinea and Indonesia around March.