Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 54: Western Bowerbird

This is a bit of a continuation of a theme of some of my recent observations - birds that you can see in car parks!  I have to admit that I have expand "car parks" to include the cafes of Botanic Gardens - but its the same sort of place.

After settling into our accommodation in Alice Springs we went for lunch at the Botanic Gardens - and as soon as we got out of the car a rather strange looking bird landed on a picnic table next to us.  I recognised it as a bowerbird of some sort, and rather quickly lost interest in lunch!  The bird flew away, and I come not follow it.  So, back to lunch.

As we were eating a rather fine BLT the bird came back to feed on its preferred food - the abandoned nacho.  This was not a wilderness experience.

The bird in question is a Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata).  The bird is found in two (probably) distinct populations - one in central Australia, and one in Western Australia.  All of the birds in these pictures are from the central Australian population.   I had a look around the area where I saw the birds, but I could not find any of there display bowers.

The pink path on the back of the neck of the bird as an 'erectile crest', that can be made to stand up - but I never saw that happen.



The next time I saw any of these birds was in (you've guessed it) the car park at Ormiston Gorge - a wonderful cool and shady place.  This time the birds did seen to be looking for more natural food, but did not fail to notice the crumbs that fell from our sandwiches.





I dont know if the slight cocking of the head to one side is a typical pose - maybe they were just keeping an eye on me.

Now its your turn to get involved with WBW.  Just click on the link below and off you go.  Remember to visit, comment and to link back to this page.  



52 comments:

Ken Schneider said...

Wow! That is amazing. Very sharp shots of these handsome birds!

TexWisGirl said...

very cool bird. like his speckled pattern - sort of like a starling on steroids. :)

Andrea said...

What a handsome bird and pretty daring as well. I have had that experience with a Starling at a table in the Chicago Botanical Gardens. He walked right up and took a bite out of my friends sandwich. Maybe they are related somehow ... they look similar and certainly behave with similar bad manners :) Anyway, I loved your Spotted Bowerbird and look forward to the day when you capture that crest in action ... Thanks, Stewart.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Phil said...

A fine looking bird and brilliant pictures you took Stewart. Aren't birds clever in adapting to their environment and in this case learning to rely upon man's leftovers or handouts? Thanks for hosting once again.

Chris Rohrer said...

These remind me a lot of Cactus Wrens here. Different but somewhat similar. They, along with Curve-billed Thrashers, also give a person that look:) Very cool birds!

Findlay Wilde said...

It's got very thick sturdy legs. From Findlay

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like this bird has adapted well to human's messy habits. :)

Nic van Es said...

Dat is wel heel mooi van een bord eten is natuurlijk veel lekkerder.

Timur said...

Hello, what a cute and hungry Little guy !!

Great capture !!

Greetings

Gary said...

Handsome fellow!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Kusum Sanu said...

That is a great series. I have seen this bird for the first time in these pics.

i stora drag said...

Such a fantastic bird with nice colours! I've never heard of it before.
Greetings Pia

HOOTIN ANNI said...

They would be so well camouflaged...anywhere!! Awesome.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

They would be so well camouflaged...anywhere!! Awesome.

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful images of a stunning little bird Stewart..

Richard Pegler said...

Although they're very different, they remind me of our Starlings.

Lovely images, Stewart, and some which bring a smile to my face.

Marcia said...

It's feathers have the look of scales to them. I take it the bower is it's nest? I'll have to look that up.

DIMI said...

Hallo Stewart!!!Very beautiful birds!!I can see the pink spot on his head!!!Exellent shots and captures!!!Have a lovely day!
Dimi...

mick said...

Great photos of very interesting birds. Some birds seem to become used to humans very quickly.

grammie g said...

Hi Stewart... I love his feathered pattern, and I got a good laugh from Teresa comment about it being like a starling on steroids hahah!!
I could see the pink patch on the back of the head in that last one!!
It is amazing to me that it has a pink patch..not a common color mix for birds !!
Grace
Thanks for being the host for WBW!!

Brian King said...

This is a new one for me. Fantastic looking bird! They seem to have rather large feet. Love the plumage!

Karen said...

Excellent shots! Great colouration on this handsome bird!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Stewart, I agree with Tex. It looks like our Starling. Very pretty pattern and great shots! Thanks for hosting!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I swear your recent bird posts could tempt me to abandon everything and move to Australia. Your parking lots have more exotic and beautiful birds than I see walking in nature areas.

Even without moving though, I will be back to WBW one of these weeks.

Minoru Saito said...

Nice captures. Thank you for hosting.

Arija said...

Such wonderful photos of these dotty birds. Car park birds can be such fun. At coffin Bay we sat down at a picnic table nest to the car park in a wideness area and, quick as a flash, a superb blue wren in full mating plumage was helping himself to the crumbs of our snack.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

He kind of has some appearances of our Road Runner. He does have some impressive talons for a bird his size.

thewovenspoke said...

What an interesting bird, that is a great fact about the pink erectile feather on its' head

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewart What a wonderful opportunity you had to photograph this beautiful bird. All great shots. it certainly would be fantastic to see the 'pink' crest erect however that probably only happens when he is displaying for the female at the bower. Margaret

Nora at Island Rambles said...

I want a Bowerbird, can you mail me one! You have unusual birds and you find them in the most unusual places! You go for lunch and find birds!

Carole M. said...

oh great pick up Stewart; that trip of yours sounds super and how lovely to see these Bowerbirds; great shots!

India Heritage Sites said...

Wow, Lovely little bird!

Babs Helferich said...

great captured. super!
regards Babs

Pete Shanley said...

Hi Stewart - the Olive Pink Botanical pair are well-known locally .... I have visited them myself several times over the last 6-7 years!! Typically the bower has been not far from the road where it expands to become car park - not much use to you now I suspect!

I feel a "retro"post coming on! - may try to dig up that bit bit of video of them at the bower!

Peter

Digi-Irma said...

Beautiful series of photos of this beautiful bird.
This bird looks almost the same as our starling.

Gordon said...

A very smart and interesting bird Stewart, and also an interesting narrative.
All the best Gordon.

Gordon said...

A very smart and interesting bird Stewart, and also an interesting narrative.
All the best Gordon.

Kerri Farley said...

What a beautiful bird!! And a GREAT find!

Arija said...

So what's wrong with teasing?
How's the ankle holding up??

Misty DawnS said...

I am always in awe at the beautiful art and detail of a bird's feathers.

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful captures of this handsome bird!

Small City Scenes said...

Very interesting bird complete with great commentary. I see the pink on the back of the neck. I will have to read more about this strange bird. thanks. MB

Monica said...

Excellent shots of this beautiful bird!
Have a nice evening:)

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

What a beautiful bird! I love your photographs of it and your words as well!

Wally Jones said...

Superb photographs, Stewart! Car parks and picnic tables can be great birding venues!

What great coloration they have.

Thank you so much for hosting this site - terrific way to see the birds of the world!

Have a great week!

Dave Lewis said...

Now that's a pretty bird!

Nathalie Santa Maria said...

Great photos ! And a beautiful bird !

Nathalie Santa Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arti said...

Lovely captures! You capture the birds so very neatly! Thanks for sharing, have a nice day Stewart :)

Gunilla Bäck said...

A very handsome bird!

Pat Tillett said...

Great photos of a great looking bird Stewart! I'm never seen the actual bird before, but not too long ago there was a rock band here named, "The Bowerbirds." I have no idea if the name has anything at all to do with the bird though.

Linda said...

What great spots he has!